What is Total Hip Replacement?

Total Hip Replacement is a surgery in which both components of the ball-and-socket hip joint are replaced with surgical implants. X-rays or a CT scan are first used by the surgeon to determine the appropriate implant size. In surgery, the head and neck of the femur (forming the “ball” of the hip joint) are removed and the new metal head and neck implant is anchored into the femur. The joint surface of the hip socket (called the acetabulum) is then removed, and a synthetic socket is installed. This is a complex surgery that requires special expertise and careful surgical technique. 

Who can benefit from a Total Hip Replacement?

This surgery may be useful in the management of hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, slipped capital femoral physis, and post-traumatic arthritis. Typically this procedure is reserved for cases that fail to respond to conservative management with medications and physical rehabilitation therapy and for whom less complex surgeries are unlikely to be successful.

What are the potential complications with Total Hip Replacement?

When performed by an experienced surgeon, the risk of complications is low, with joint luxation (dislocation), femur fracture, surgery site infection and implant loosening being the most common. Close adherence to post-operative instructions and periodic post-surgical check-ups will help to minimize the development of complications. 

What is the recovery time following this surgery?

Most patients experience significantly improved comfort and limb use rapidly after surgery, although physical activity must be limited until the bones and soft tissues around the hip have had sufficient time to heal. Over the first 12 weeks following surgery, physical activity is gradually increased in conjunction with a physical rehabilitation therapy program. Return to full activity is typically achieved within three to four months following surgery.

What is the prognosis following Total Hip Replacement?

Most patients go on to regain normal, pain-free function of the affected limb. The implants are long-lasting, and have proven to function life-long in many individuals. 


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