The hip joint is made up of two major parts: the hip socket (a part of the pelvic bone called the acetabulum) and the beginning part of the thighbone (called the femur). The most common reason to have a hip replacement is severe arthritis that causes deterioration of the cartilage and bones of the hip joint and pain that limits what you can do.
If you suffer from the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for joint replacement surgery:
- Your everyday activities have been limited because of pain or stiffness in a joint
- Pain is constant and persistent, both day and night
- Anti-inflammatory drugs do not provide relief
- Other treatments no longer provide relief
Hip replacement is usually done in people age 60 and older. This is because most artificial hips do not last more than 20 years. Younger people who have hip replacements tend to place more strain on their new hips.
Advanced Procedures for Faster, Better Recovery
The majority of our joint replacement procedures are minimally invasive. Using tiny incisions and leading edge technology, the orthopedic surgeons of Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital can replace a joint with vastly shortened surgery times and less muscle involvement.
Our minimally invasive hip procedures include:
- Anterior hip replacement – a new technique that can spare the major muscles surrounding the hip joint. The anterior approach is a tissue-sparing alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery that provides the potential for less pain, faster recovery and improved mobility.
- Arthroscopic surgery
- Hip resurfacing – an alternative to a total hip replacement that’s appropriate for strong, active people and effectively returns them to the activities they enjoyed before experiencing their hip problems.
This, along with improved longevity of the replacement joint, means shorter hospital stays, faster recoveries, improved range of motion and new joints that can be customized to your size, gender and activity level.
Avid Skier Returns to the Slopes after Total Hip Replacements
When Dr. Mark Meier, family medicine physician with Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group, experienced hip pain with every step he took and struggled to put on his ski boots, he turned to Jeffrey J. Butler, MD, at Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital for bilateral total hip replacements.
“Three months after my bilateral hip replacement, it was a joy putting on my ski boots. To be able to go full speed, make a hard turn in either direction and not have pain in my hips anymore was almost like a new sport.”
What to Expect During Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery, which usually takes one to three hours, replaces all or part of the hip joint with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. The artificial hip joint used has four parts:
- A socket that replaces your old hip socket. The hip replacement socket is usually made of metal.
- A liner that fits inside the socket. It is usually plastic, but some surgeons use ceramic and metal. The liner allows the hip to move smoothly.
- A metal or ceramic ball that will replace the round head (top) of your thighbone.
- A metal stem that is attached to the shaft of the bone.
After you receive anesthesia, your surgeon will make an incision (cut) to open up your hip joint. Then your surgeon will proceed by:
- Removing the head of your thigh (femur) bone.
- Cleaning out your hip socket and removing the remaining cartilage and damaged or arthritic bone.
In the next phase your surgeon will:
- Put the new hip socket in place and insert the metal stem into your thighbone.
- Check your hip’s stability and place the correctly sized ball for the new joint.
- Fix all the new parts in place, sometimes with a special cement.
- Repair the muscles and tendons around the new joint.
- Close the incision.
A small drainage tube will be placed to help drain excess fluids from the joint area. A large dressing will cover the area.
After Hip Replacement Surgery
After your hip replacement, you will stay in the hospital for three to five days. Full recovery will take from two months to a year.
- Hip replacement surgery results are usually excellent. Most or all of the hip pain and stiffness should go away. Some people may have problems with infection, or dislocation, of the new hip joint.
- Over time, sometimes as long as 20 years, the artificial hip replacement joint will loosen and a second hip replacement may be needed. This is called hip “revisioning.”
- Younger, more active, people may wear out parts of their new hip. Their hip replacement may need to be replaced before it loosens. It is important to have scheduled follow-up visits with your surgeon every year to check the position of your hip replacement.
Ongoing Support for Your Recovery
By the time you go home, you should be able to walk with a walker or crutches without needing much help. Use your crutches or walker for as long as you need them. Keep moving and walking once you get home. Do not put weight on the hip replacement side until your doctor tells you it is okay. Start out with short periods of activity and then gradually increase them. Your doctor or physical therapist will give you exercises to do at home.
After your hip replacement is fully healed, you will be able to return to your former level of activity. With a hip replacement, you will need to avoid some sports, such as contact sports like football and soccer. But you should be able to do low impact activities, such as hiking, gardening, swimming, playing tennis and golfing.