Hip Replacement Surgery

The hip is the second largest weight-bearing joint of the body, the knee is the largest. When part or the entire joint is damaged by arthritis or injury, hip replacement surgery can be a successful option. The purpose of hip surgery is to relieve pain and increase mobility.

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. It consists of two main parts:

  • The acetabulum is a cup-shaped indentation in the pelvis. It is the socket that holds the ball or top part of the femur (thigh bone).
  • The femoral head is a ball-shaped bone that is attached to the top of the femur, or thigh bone, and rotates within the acetabulum.

Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Total hip replacement surgery replaces all of the damaged parts of the natural hip joint, the acetabulum and the femoral head. It therefore is replacing those parts of the joint that are damaged and are causing pain. In addition to replacing the femoral head and the acetabulum, the femoral head is attached to a stem that during surgery is inserted into the thigh bone.

Partial Hip Replacement Surgery

Partial hip replacement surgery replaces only the femoral head. The acetabulum is left alone since it is in good shape. Partial hip replacement surgery usually is done in the elderly who have a broken a hip, meaning a fracture of the neck of the femur. The surgeon replaces the femoral head which is attached to a stem that fits into the thigh bone.

Hip Replacement Surgery Healing Time and Recovery

Recovery from hip replacement surgery can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months up until a year. It depends upon the patient's particular condition, the type of hip replacement that was done and the patient's attitude. Patients should expect to have some pain and to know they will need to work hard to recover, but that the rewards are wonderful when they can walk and do the things they used to do with no pain.

Dealing with pain is an important part of the recovery process. Some patients are so fearful of becoming addicted to pain medication they fail to take it when necessary. Proper control of pain, using medication is important to doing exercises and overall attitude.

The main components of dealing with pain and ensuring a healthy recovery are:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Medicate
  • Elevate

Healing time also varies by definition of what healing means. Short-term healing generally means recovery within 3 to 6 weeks and includes a minimum amount of walking without aids and replacing prescription pain killers with over the counter pain medications.

Long-term recovery averages from 6 to 12 months following surgery. It means complete healing of the wounds from surgery and of the internal soft tissues and returning to normal activities of daily living.

Exercises After Hip Replacement Surgery

Having appropriate physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process. Exercises are done to maintain flexibility, build strength and increase range of motion. Some simple home exercises are very helpful. Most patients can regain their range of motion in between 8 and 12 months.

Contact a hip replacement attorney today to find out if your defective hip implant case is eligible for compensation.

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