Total Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip arthritis can occur from wear and tear or may follow an injury of the joint. Arthritis is the loss of cartilage (cushioning material) between the bones, resulting in bone-on-bone contact. Loss of this cartilage results in pain, and the range of motion is sometimes limited. Although the condition may occur from genetic defects of the cartilage, being overweight can place significant extra stress and discomfort on the hip joints, resulting in more debilitating pain and faster progression of the disease.
An extensively trained orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. John Hoffman performs minimally invasive, rapid recovery, total hip replacement surgery as a method of relieving hip arthritis pain. During surgery, a small (approximately 2.5-inch) incision is made at the hip joint through which an arthroscope (small video camera) is inserted to allow Dr. Hoffman to view the surgery on a monitor. Special instrumentation is used to remove the arthritic bone, insert the artificial hip joint, and close the wound with a total surgical time of approximately 60 minutes. Local spinal anesthesia is most often used, which significantly reduces postsurgical pain, nausea, and disorientation—complications often associated with other types of general anesthesia. Many patients are able to have the procedure performed on an outpatient basis and are able to go home within 24 hours. This technique results in smaller incisions, less scarring, less pain, and much faster recovery than traditional open surgery.
What Typically Happens After Surgery?
Within hours of completion of the surgery, patients are encouraged to get up and move right away. The formal therapy process begins once the patient is able to stand and walk from the bedside to the bathroom and back with assistance from a nurse or physical therapist. Many patients go home within 24 hours of the procedure with no hospital stay required.
During the first postoperative day, patients are typically walking 200 feet and able to climb stairs. Most patients use a walker for 3 – 7 days and a cane for 1 – 4 weeks following surgery. One month after surgery, some patients are walking up to 1 mile.
For up to 2 months postoperatively, it is common to have swelling and pain or nighttime discomfort. This should improve over the course of a few months following surgery.
Total hip replacement is an extremely effective and successful way of relieving the discomfort and allowing people to return to normal activity. It is not uncommon to allow people to return to walking several miles per day. Pain relief can be quite dramatic. As with any health condition, eating a healthy, balanced diet and managing your weight can significantly enhance your postoperative results and help to protect your new joint.
Michelle – Rapid Recovery Outpatient Hip Replacement