In a hip replacement surgery, damaged parts of the hip are replaced with artificial joint components, which are designed to mimic the natural movements of the hip joint. The type of prostheses used may vary according to the patient’s needs, but most prostheses comprise two components: the femoral component, which has a stem that extends into a canal in your thigh bone, and the acetabular component, which is placed within your socket. These artificial joints will help reduce pain and improve your daily function. Materials used in the procedure may include synthetic polymers, metal alloys and ceramics.
Hip revision surgery may be required 10 - 15 years after the initial surgery due to loosening or wearing out of the prostheses.
When Do You Need a Hip Replacement?
A hip replacement surgery may be necessary if you have conditions that cause damage to the hip joint, such as the following:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: A type of inflammation that can erode cartilage and underlying bone, resulting in joint damage and deformities.
- Osteoarthritis: The most common form of arthritis that damages the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones and allows smooth movement of the joints.
- Osteonecrosis: A condition caused by disease or severe trauma that affects the blood supply to the bone. It can also occur without trauma or disease.
You may also need hip replacement surgery if you have hip pain that persists despite pain medication, worsens with walking and interferes with your sleep.
What to Expect During Hip Replacement Surgery
An anaesthetic will be administered before the surgery. You will either be given a general anaesthetic, which will put you in a sleep-like state throughout the surgery, or a spinal block, which numbs the lower half of your body to block pain. The procedure will take a few hours
After the procedure, you may be prescribed blood-thinning medication and given compression stockings to prevent blood clot formation in your legs. A physiotherapist will also recommend exercises to help you regain your strength and mobility.