When your hip hurts too much to climb the stairs, get dressed, stand up, or stay asleep, it might be time to consider hip replacement surgery. Your orthopaedic specialist at Quinby Orthopedics is experienced at determining when you are ready for a hip arthroscopy and can answer your common questions on this important surgical option that can dramatically improve your quality of life.
Why does my hip hurt so much?
The most common cause of hip pain is arthritis1. Osteoarthritis is wear-and-tear arthritis and causes the slick cartilage that covers the end of the hip bone to break down, leaving bone-on-bone wear that causes pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is inflammatory arthritis caused by an overactive immune system and can damage the cartilage and even deform the bone.
Another cause of hip pain is osteonecrosis which is when the hip joint doesn’t receive enough blood supply due to a fracture or dislocation and the bone begins to break down. Other culprits could be degenerative joint disease, trauma to the joint or a hip fracture.
How is the hip replaced?
The most common hip replacement surgery involves an incision of several inches over the hip joint. The unhealthy, worn bone is removed and an artificial hip bone and joint is anchored into place. The synthetic joint is made of hard plastic, ceramic and metal.
“There are a few different ways we can do hip replacements,” said Quinby Orthopedics’ Medical Director, Dr. J. Scott Quinby. “We will carefully evaluate you to find the technique that will be the most minimally invasive and effective in reducing your hip pain.”
What are the risks?
Like any surgery, hip replacements do have risks. Here is a list of potential risks to consider:
- Blood clots
- Nerve injury
- Changes in length and flexibility of leg
- Need for additional surgery
What is surgery going to be like?
Your hip replacement surgery will take from 2 to 4 hours. You will need to follow instructions and arrive two hours in advance for prep work. An anesthesiologist will meet with you to discuss the kind of anesthesia being used. A urinary catheter will be put into place and will remain for a day or so to aid in your recovery. Depending on your surgery, you may stay in the hospital from 1 to 4 days.
What will my recovery be like?
While in the hospital, you will receive some preliminary physical therapy. You will be shown exercises that can help you recover at home. After discharge, you will need to continue your physical therapy appointments at a facility of your choosing.
At home, you will want a little help for the first few days. You won’t be able to climb stairs easily, so plan on arranging things in advance so you have what you need in one area. Remove tripping obstacles. Keep things at waist level so you won’t have to bend over. Having meals prepared in advance will be helpful.
You will be gradually working towards increasing your activity level over the next three to six weeks. You will recover better with regular exercise and movement. You will be given instructions on how to care for your incision site. Staples or stitches will need to be removed in 10 to 12 days and kept clean and dry until then.
Some things you will need to watch for include: swelling or infection of the incision site, swelling of your calf and ankle, and a potential blood clot in the leg.
You will have follow-up appointments for the next year with your orthopaedic specialist to track your progress in recovery.
Get an appointment with our orthopaedic specialist today!
If you’ve been suffering from chronic hip pain that has affected your quality of life, call us at Quinby Orthopedics today @ 469-929-0615 for an initial examination. Your orthopaedic specialist will evaluate you and discuss treatment options, including hip replacement surgery, if applicable.
Visit us at one of our two convenient locations:
- Rockwall – Rockwall Medical Center, 810 E. Ralph Hall Pkwy, Suite 140
- Plano – Plano Medical Office Building III, 4001 W 15th St., Suite 180