March 21, 2019

The Ins and Outs of Hip Replacement Surgery

During the process of hip replacement, a surgeon eliminates the damaged parts of the hip joint and replaces them with parts typically made using ceramic, metal and very hard plastic. This artificial joint assists in relieving pain and enhance function. Also referred to as total hip arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery may be a choice for those patients whose hip pain interferes with every day activities and more conventional treatments have not assisted or are no more effectual. One of the most common reasons to need hip replacement is arthritis damage. When it comes to getting hip replacement done, it becomes vital to consult with a leading surgeon for getting hip replacement surgery in India.

Conditions that require hip replacement surgery

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis produces a kind of inflammation which can wear away cartilage and intermittently primary bone, resulting in malformed and damaged joints.
  • Osteoarthritis: Also known as wear and tear arthritis, osteoarthritis injures the cartilage which covers the ends of bones and assists joints move efficiently.
  • Osteonecrosis: In case there is insufficient blood supply to the ball part of the hip joint, the bone may distort and subside.

In case of any of these above mentioned conditions, a hip replacement surgery becomes very important. Apart from this the hip replacement may be considered in case an individual is experiencing hip pain which is .

  • Making it hard to rise from a seated position
  • Persistent pain in spite of medication
  • Affecting the ability to go up or down stairs
  • Hampering the sleep
  • Getting worse with walking, even with a walker or cane

Common types of risks

Since hip replacement is a major surgery, a number of risks are associated with it which may include the following:

  • Infection: This can take place at the place of the incision and in the deeper tissue near the new hip. Usually the infections are treated with antibiotics, but a major infection near the prosthesis may necessitate surgery to replace and remove the prosthesis.
  • Blood clots: Post surgery there are chances that clots may form in the leg veins. This can be hazardous as a portion of a clot can break away and move to the heart, lung as well as brain. Thus, in most cases the doctor may recommend blood thinning medications to decrease this risk.
  • Change in length of the leg: Even though the surgeon takes steps to prevent the problem, but at times a new hip may make one leg shorter or longer than the other. Thus is usually caused by a contracture of muscles around the hip. In such cases, stretching and strengthening those muscles progressively may assist.
  • Fracture: During surgery, healthy part of the hip joint may rupture. At times the fractures are so tiny that they repair on their own, but bigger fractures may require fixing with pins, wires, as well as a bone graft or metal plate
  • Loosening:Even though this problem is uncommon with newer implants, the new joint may not become firmly fixed to the bone or may loosen in due course and this may cause pain in the hip. Surgery is required to get the problem fixed.
  • Dislocation: Certain positions can cause the ball of the new joint to become dislodged, especially in the first few months after surgery. In case the hip dislocates, the doctor may fix it using a brace to keep the hip in the accurate position. In case the hip continues to dislocate surgery is frequently required to steady it.

Necessity for second hip replacement

The prosthetic hip joint may wear out ultimately, so in case an individual has hip replacement surgery when they are comparatively active and young, they might need a second hip replacement. But the new materials these days are making implants to last longer, so a second replacement may not be required.

How to get the patient ready for the surgery?

Prior to surgery the patient will meet with the orthopedic surgeon for an assessment. The surgeon would

  • Carry out a short general physical examination to ensure they are healthy enough to undergo surgery
  • Ask about the current medications and medical history
  • Test the hip, focusing on the range of motion in the joint and the strength of the nearby muscles
  • Recommend blood tests, an MRI and perhaps an X-ray

This preoperative assessment is a good opportunity for the patient to ask questions about the surgical procedure. Be sure to determine which medications to avoid or continue to take in the week prior to surgery.

What the patient can expect?


When the patient checks in for your surgery, they will be asked to take away the clothes and put on a hospital dress. A general anesthetic or a spinal block is usually administered to numb the lower half of the body.

During the surgical procedure

To carry out a hip replacement, the surgeon may need to do the following things:

  • Make a slit over the side or front of the hip, via the layers of tissue
  • Eliminate damaged and unhealthy cartilage and bone
  • Insert the prosthetic socket into the pelvic bone, to substitute the damaged socket
  • Change the round ball above the femur with the prosthetic ball, which is affixed to a stem that fits into the thighbone

With the advancement in medical science more new techniques are coming which are ideal as they help in reducing the pain and discomfort level and at the same time make the recovery time much faster.

After the procedure

Post surgery, the patient will be moved to a recovery area for a few hours while the anesthesia subsides. The doctor, surgeon and nurse will continuously keep a close tab on the pulse, blood pressure, alertness, comfort or pain level, and the need for medications. Post surgery, the patient will be at increased risk of blood clots in the legs. Therefore, the doctor may prescribe blood thinning medication, early mobilization and pressure application. Physical therapy may also be recommended as it helps the patient with some exercises that they can do in the hospital and at home to speed up the recovery.