A Total Hip Replacement (THR) is an excellent solution for a painful hip joint. It is one of most successful surgical procedures of the 21st century with over 95% of patients reporting good outcomes.
What to expect
Surgery is to improve pain, and therefore mobility and independence. Replacing a damaged hip involves making an incision along the outside of the upper thigh usually about 15-20 cms long. Whilst the incision is not in a particularly discreet area, the scar left by the procedure usually heals very well.
On the day of surgery
Surgery is usually under a spinal anaesthetic with some sedation so you can be asleep. The operation usually takes around 60 minutes to complete, but you may spend 30 minutes or more recovering in theatre before you return to the ward. You will wake up in recovery lying on your back. Your legs will still feel numb and weak until the anaesthetic wears off about 4 hours later. You will have some pain but this is often much less than you might expect, and the pain of the arthritis will have gone.
After the operation
The Physiotherapist will help you with some bed exercises, and progress you to standing and walking with crutches as you are able. Once you can move confidently with crutches you will be taught how to manage stairs so that when you leave hospital you will able to manage independently. Patients generally take two to five days to reach a point when they are fit to go home, depending their general fitness and their procedure.
After Discharge from hospital
Post-op physiotherapy will be arranged either at the hospital or at a local physiotherapy practice. This will continue for a few weeks during which you will see a constant improvement in your mobility as you gain strength and confidence. After a minimum of 4-6 weeks you may reduce down to one crutch while you are at home, but we would advise you stick to two when you are out of the house.
Lifespan of a hip replacement
Joint Reaction only use the best quality hip implants with a proven track record. It is important to understand that a hip replacement is artificial and will, eventually, wear out. During the lifespan of the THR you should live as normal a life as possible, but we would advise against running and high impact sports as these may cause the hip to wear faster.