Hip Replacement Surgery: Procedure, Risk Factors and Precautions
Hip replacement surgery is one of the most effective procedures for relieving hip pain. “Resurfacing the bones that meet at the hip joint, it helps in improving the hip functioning,” say experts at AMRI Hospitals, one of the best hospitals in Kolkata. It is usually performed when alternative treatment options fail to relieve the pain.
When do you need a hip replacement surgery?
Osteoarthritis, a joint disorder caused due to aging, is one of the most common conditions requiring hip replacement surgery. Other states include Rheumatoid arthritis (chronic joint inflammation), rare metabolic bone conditions and fractures.
Listed below are some of the most common signs that indicate a need for undergoing a hip replacement surgery:
- Swelling in the joint
- Recurring pain that hinders your day-to-day abilities, like getting up from a chair, walking up stairs, or getting into a car
- Stiffness, particularly in the morning
- Inability to move a joint normally or walk a reasonable distance
- Redness in the joints
What happens during Hip Replacement Surgery?
Based upon the degree of damage, hips are resurfaced or totally replaced in a Hip Replacement Surgery. Surgeons at AMRI Hospitals, one of the best Orthopaedic hospitals in Kolkata, explain that the procedure involves surgical removal of the painful hip joint with an artificial joint made of metal or plastic. It can be performed using traditional surgical methods or by minimally-invasive technique. The procedures differ on the basis of the patient’s needs and the surgeon’s approach. However, the major difference between the two processes lies in the size of the incision.
In standard hip replacement surgery, the patient is given general anaesthesia to relax his/her muscles and put him/her into a temporary deep sleep. Making an 8 – 10 inch cut along the side of the hip, the doctor removes the ball portion of the joint and replaces it with an artificial joint.
What are the complications of Hip Replacement Surgery?
Though, Hip Replacement Surgeries have a high success rate, there are a few complications associated with them, such as:
- Blood clots
- Misalignment of implants
- Wound Haematoma (bleeding)
- Leg length differential (one leg longer than the other)
- Loosening of the implant
- Nerve damage
- Allergy or other reactions
- Squeaky Hip or Noisy Hip
Precautions after a Hip Replacement surgery
There are certain precautions you need to take after a hip replacement surgery. Patients should avoid activities that place a lot of stress or pressure on the knee.
Mainly, three movements are to be avoided to prevent dislocation of the hip prosthesis, which include:
- Hip flexing past 90 degrees (NOTE: flexion is technical term, most people won’t understand, better not to use)
Bending your hip or lifting your knee too high should be avoided. Basically, your thigh must be below the parallel line, in comparison to the floor. Maintaining this 90-degree rule can help in reducing the risk of hip dislocation.
- Don’t cross your operated leg over your non-operative leg while sitting
Post a hip replacement surgery, patients are advised not to cross one leg over the other while sitting. Surgeons at AMRI Hospitals recommend using a special wedge called an abduction pillow to keep your legs separated while sleeping.
- Walking pigeon-toed (internal rotation of the hip)
Patients need to ensure that their toes are kept straight ahead or slightly rotated outwards while sitting, standing, or lying.