In a world where we are constantly on the go, your body experiences a lot of wear and tear resulting in discomfort. One of the most common reasons for this discomfort is hip pain which can result in difficulty walking and sitting comfortably.
Hip replacement surgery can help relieve this pain by replacing damaged or diseased parts of your hip with artificial components that have been designed specifically for the job. While this can be a great option for dealing with pain, it is major surgery and there are a few things you should know before the procedure.
- What is causing my hip pain?
This is probably the most important question to answer when considering hip replacement surgery because there are a variety of conditions that can cause hip pain, each requiring different treatments. Things like arthritis and bursitis are common causes that respond best to anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections into painful areas. However, hip fractures, incomplete development of the hipbone, and/or damaged joint or bones in the hip can also cause pain and require surgery to fix. It is important that you see a Dr. Nelson for an evaluation and diagnosis to determine what the source of your pain is and how it should be treated.
- How does hip replacement surgery work?
If Dr. Nelson recommends a hip replacement, the surgery will involve replacing worn-out or damaged sections of the hip with artificial implants. The socket is replaced with a durable plastic cup, which may include a titanium metal shell. The femur head is then removed and replaced with a ball made from a metal alloy or ceramic. The new ball is attached to a metal stem that is inserted into the top of the femur. The surgery is typically done as an outpatient, meaning that you can go home the same day or very soon after surgery.
- What are the risks of hip replacement surgery?
While hip replacement is a proven surgery with minimal complications, there is always some risk involved. Infection is always a possibility where any kind of surgery is being performed, but the chances are minimized by avoiding very active lifestyles before and after surgery. Other risks include nerve damage, tissue or bone death, failure to heal properly, and/or blood clots.
- What should I expect after surgery?
Recovery will begin as soon as your procedure is finished. Depending on a few things, your hospital stay can range from an outpatient procedure to a stay of a few days. Below are some activities that Dr. Nelson will want to ensure you can do before allowing you to leave the hospital:
- Getting in and out of bed by yourself.
- Having acceptable pain control.
- Being able to perform activities such as eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom by yourself.
- Walking with an assistive device such as a cane or walker.
- Being able to perform the prescribed at-home exercise.
Dr. Nelson will recommend physical therapy to maintain strength and flexibility in your legs while you are recovering. This can be very important for maintaining good posture and stability while the new hip heals. Full recovery can take up to 6 months, but most patients are able to return to their usual activities by 3-4 months post-operation.
It is important to remember that the success of your surgery will depend in large measure on how well you follow Dr. Nelson’s instructions regarding home care during the first few weeks after surgery.
Dr. Nelson is experienced with hip replacements and is dedicated to helping his patients return to their daily activities. To schedule your appointment with him, please give us a call at 435-787-2000.