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Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is a common and highly- successful orthopedic treatment for severe hip osteoarthritis and other conditions which lead to degenerative changes of the hip joint. The procedure involves removal of the degenerative parts of the hip, and replacement with a prosthetic device. The procedure helps restore mobility and relieve severe pain from arthritis.

What to Know About Hip Replacement Surgery

Not everyone needs surgery to treat their injured hip, but for those who do, there are multiple options available, including various types and approaches.

Types of Hip Replacement Surgery

  • Total hip replacement: As the hip is a ball-and-socket joint, a replacement typically involves replacing the “ball” atop your thigh bone as well as the “socket,” which is the pelvic area. This type of hip replacement surgery is the most common.
  • Partial hip replacement: If the damaged part of the hip is isolated to a specific area, our surgeons may recommend a partial hip replacement where only the ball is replaced. Partial hip replacement is only performed for hip fractures and is not an effective treatment for arthritis.

Approaches (Methods) of Hip Replacement Surgery

When performing a hip replacement, a surgeon can access the hip from different angles. All approaches to the hip have excellent long-term outcomes. Your doctor will determine what type of approach is best for you.

Three common ways to approach the hip joint during the procedure are:

  • Anterior approach: The surgeon makes an incision in the front of the hip. This approach has been gaining in popularity due to a minimally invasive approach, fewer activity restrictions and precautions, and a potentially faster recovery.
  • Posterior approach: The surgeon makes an incision at the back of the hip. This has been the most popular approach for quite some time, and is utilized for both primary and revision hip surgery.
  • Lateral approach: The surgeon makes an incision in the side of the hip. This approach is commonly used for total hip replacement as well as revision hip surgery.

Which Conditions Does Hip Replacement Surgery Treat?

  • The most common condition that patients get hip replacement surgery for is osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis. It is caused by degenerative wear and tear and causes pain and stiffness in joints.
  • Other conditions that hip replacement surgery may treat include:
    • Avascular necrosis
    • Certain types of hip fractures.
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Rheumatoid arthritis or other types of auto-immune conditions that lead to hip degeneration.

Who is a Good Candidate for Hip Replacement Surgery?

While hip replacement surgery is very common, the treatment is typically recommended for:

  • Patients with severe hip damage due to arthritis or injury.
  • Patients who experience severe hip pain to the point where everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and standing up are painful and difficult.
  • Patients who have severe activity limitations that interfere with their quality of life.
  • Patients who have not responded to other treatments like physical therapy, medications, injections, activity modification, or other surgical procedures.

What Can I Expect During Recovery Following Hip Replacement Surgery?

Depending on their overall health and other factors, patients could go home the same day (outpatient surgery) or they may require an overnight hospital stay for observation.

Physical therapy is often, but not always, part of the recovery after hip replacement. This is typically started in your home shortly after the surgery. Many patients will do outpatient physical therapy as well.

Return to work and driving ability vary among patients depending on their function, pain, and occupation. In order to drive, you must be off of all narcotic pain medications, and you must test your own ability to react and use the brakes appropriately. This is typically about 2-4 weeks after surgery.

  • Total hip replacement: As the hip is a ball-and-socket joint, a replacement typically involves replacing the “ball” atop your thigh bone as well as the “socket,” which is the pelvic area. This type of hip replacement surgery is the most common.
  • Partial hip replacement: If the damaged part of the hip is isolated to a specific area, our surgeons may recommend a partial hip replacement where only the ball is replaced. Partial hip replacement is only performed for hip fractures and is not an effective treatment for arthritis.

When performing a hip replacement, a surgeon can access the hip from different angles. All approaches to the hip have excellent long-term outcomes. Your doctor will determine what type of approach is best for you.

Three common ways to approach the hip joint during the procedure are:

  • Anterior approach: The surgeon makes an incision in the front of the hip. This approach has been gaining in popularity due to a minimally invasive approach, fewer activity restrictions and precautions, and a potentially faster recovery.
  • Posterior approach: The surgeon makes an incision at the back of the hip. This has been the most popular approach for quite some time, and is utilized for both primary and revision hip surgery.
  • Lateral approach: The surgeon makes an incision in the side of the hip. This approach is commonly used for total hip replacement as well as revision hip surgery.

  • The most common condition that patients get hip replacement surgery for is osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis. It is caused by degenerative wear and tear and causes pain and stiffness in joints.
  • Other conditions that hip replacement surgery may treat include:
    • Avascular necrosis
    • Certain types of hip fractures.
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Rheumatoid arthritis or other types of auto-immune conditions that lead to hip degeneration.

While hip replacement surgery is very common, the treatment is typically recommended for:

  • Patients with severe hip damage due to arthritis or injury.
  • Patients who experience severe hip pain to the point where everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and standing up are painful and difficult.
  • Patients who have severe activity limitations that interfere with their quality of life.
  • Patients who have not responded to other treatments like physical therapy, medications, injections, activity modification, or other surgical procedures.

Depending on their overall health and other factors, patients could go home the same day (outpatient surgery) or they may require an overnight hospital stay for observation.

Physical therapy is often, but not always, part of the recovery after hip replacement. This is typically started in your home shortly after the surgery. Many patients will do outpatient physical therapy as well.

Return to work and driving ability vary among patients depending on their function, pain, and occupation. In order to drive, you must be off of all narcotic pain medications, and you must test your own ability to react and use the brakes appropriately. This is typically about 2-4 weeks after surgery.

Why Choose Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists for Hip Issues

ONS’ orthopedic hip surgeons provide superior surgical treatment for patients with severe hip conditions. Our specialists strive to offer the highest level of hip care that helps patients to restore function, reduce discomfort, provide relief, and prevent further injury. Our surgeons perform all major approaches to the hip, including the direct anterior approach. All of our surgeons are fellowship-trained, and perform hundreds of hip replacement surgeries per year. We have outstanding outcomes with low complication rates.

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