The Prosthetic Implant

Alternative materials to metal and plastic, namely ceramic-on-ceramic, and ceramic-on-cross linked polyethylene; they come with their own unique advantages. This will be explained by your orthopedic surgeon.

The procedure

The total hip replacement is performed in a highly sterile operating room with a special laminar airflow system, which helps reduce the chance of infection. The surgery is performed post administration of an epidural anesthesia. The incision measuring 4-10 inches for a total hip replacement surgery is made along the side of your hip. The incision will measure anywhere from 4 to 10 inches, depending upon your anatomy.

The arthritic ball and socket are then exposed and the bone is prepared to receive the artificial hip joint, and then the prosthesis is inserted. During closure two drains may be inserted around the operated area to assist for blood evacuation. Combinations of staples and/or sutures are used to close up. The entire operation will take from 1 to 2 hours; post which there is recovery and follow treatment given. Risks of having a prosthetic hip-

There may be loss of blood, formation of a clot in your leg, and some chances of infection. The overall incidences of these risks are extremely small. They should be discussed with your Hip replacement surgeon prior to proceeding with the surgery. Some others are-

Ball dislocation (come out of the socket)

  1. Wear and tear of parts used.
  2. Infection of prosthesis.

Again, these issues will be discussed with you by your orthopedic surgeon.

Longevity

A total hip replacement depends upon a variety of factors, including:

  1. Patient weight
  2. Patient activity
  3. The mechanical properties of the prosthesis used.

Pre-Operative Orientation

Some patients will be asked to donate a pint of their own blood in the weeks preceding their hip replacement surgery. This addresses the need of blood transfusion during the surgery. Almost all of the patients will receive this donated blood as a transfusion post surgery. A thorough medical examination is conducted as a precaution to make certain that you are healthy enough to undergo hip replacement surgery. Additional testing to examine your heart and lung function is carried out.

Post-Operative Course

After spending time in the recovery room; most patients are able to go to a regular room after a few hours, till when the sensation returns in your legs. A pain pump is connected to the epidural catheter which will allow you to control pain medicine. Most people are quite comfortable with the pain pump in place. The first day after surgery will be active and designed to help you get more mobile. Physiotherapists instruct you in more exercises to perform while in bed and then proceed to help you stand and take a few steps with a walker. Depending upon your age and other factors a short-term placement in a rehabilitation facility may be suggested. Otherwise, you will be discharged home with rigorous physio-therapy in place. Your return to activity will be accordingly be guided by your surgeon and therapists subsequently.