In a hip replacement surgery, the hip prosthesis replaces the hip joint.
Who needs this surgery?
The cartilage covers the ends of the bones and allows the articular surfaces to slide. The cartilage can be worn out due to some factors, among which the most common is old age. When the wear is too advanced, hip replacement surgery is the best choice. The hip replacement surgery is basically replacing the worn-out hip joint with a hip prosthesis (implant). The prosthesis consists of an acetabular cup and a ball for the femoral head. There are dozens of types of the prosthesis from which the surgeon can choose according to the patient’s needs.
What are the benefits of hip replacement surgery?
- The main benefit is the relief of joint pain or even their disappearance. Most people who have been operated on can stop all pain medication taken before the operation and many of them “forget” their joint replacement.
- Another benefit of the prosthesis is the recovery of joint function (flexibility, stability, etc.), compromised or lost
- The prosthesis can also, in some cases, correct a deformity or unequal length (for example, a shortening of the leg).
There are many options for a total hip replacement (THA), depending on the technique of securing the prosthesis in the bone, the friction torques used, and the technique for accessing the hip joint.
In fact, the choice of a prosthesis model or an approach depends on the objectives that the surgeon and the patient want to achieve and is always a compromise between several factors:
· Bone quality
· Muscle quality
· Patient’s Activities
There can be many reasons for which a patient may require hip replacement surgery. Osteoarthritis is an example is defined as wear and tear of the cartilage, a common disease that can be easily cured with this surgery.
The Hip Replacement Surgery Techniques
The current trend is to reduce the size of the incisions. They went from 20 cm a few years ago to around ten and sometimes less with minimally invasive techniques.
To speak of "minimally invasive", it is necessary to consider the muscular and/or capsuloligamentous lesions more than the length of the scar, a purely cosmetic parameter. The principle of these minimally invasive routes is not to reduce the skin incision for aesthetic purposes, even if this aspect of the technique should not be neglected, but above all to enable faster functional recovery, quicker joint stability, and reducing the dislocation risks.
The Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery
The same evening the patient will be able to get up. Walking without a cane is in principle acquired inside the room on the fourth day. An outdoor cane is strongly recommended until the end of the sixth week.
Leaving the clinic is conditioned by complete pain control, the ability to climb stairs without difficulty with a cane, and the absence of any complications on the operative wound. On average, the discharge for the home, depending on the patient's wishes, takes place on the 5th postoperative day and full recovery can be expected within 8 to 12 weeks.