Wear and tear is normal, pain doesn’t have to be. If you have pain when walking, sometimes even at rest, and changing your activities and using walking aids doesn’t adequately ease your symptoms – you and your NGPG team may decide it is time for a replacement.
Sometimes injury, disease or wear and tear can damage the hip so badly that the hip joint may need to be replaced, but you are not alone. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 285,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States. It is a procedure that has been helping patients since the early 1960s; and every year, new devices and techniques improve hip replacement surgery.
In a total hip replacement, the damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with prosthetic components. The prosthetic involves a new head or “ball” for the femur / thigh bone and a spacer which is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.
We commonly use one of two procedures:
- Posterior approach hip replacement
- Anterior approach hip replacement.
Both procedures have great outcomes and produce long lasting results, but recovery time is typically shorter with the anterior approach method.
Preparing for Surgery
The NGPG customer service team will help you schedule your procedure, verify your insurance, and guide you through what you need to do before surgery, the day of surgery and the period immediately following your hip replacement.
The Rehabilitation Institute has prepared a comprehensive Patient Guide which should give you all the information you need to prepare for your procedure and your recovery period. Following these guidelines for how you maneuver stairs, transfer from chair to bed or use the restroom are essential to your recovery.
Hip Replacement Recovery
Hip Replacement Surgery generally yields a dramatic reduction of hip pain and a significant improvement in a patient’s ability to return to the general activities of daily life. You’ll be on your feet the day of surgery and a therapist will help you learn to use a walker for your early recovery period.
Most patients report a brief recovery time followed by a dramatically lower or non-existent pain level within a few weeks and a gradual successful return to walking, biking, swimming and similar low-impact activities. Your NGPG care team will work with the therapists of The Rehabilitation Institute to help make your recovery as successful and smooth as possible.
Of course, all prosthetics may eventually wear out, just like the original joint, but avoiding high impact activities and maintaining a healthy weight can improve the long-term success of living with a prosthetic hip replacement.
For questions, more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact NGPG Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine.