If arthritis pain has limited your mobility and your pain has not improved with nonsurgical treatment options, hip replacement surgery may be an option for you. At Summit Orthopaedics, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Amer Mirza, performs hip replacements on a weekly basis, if not more often. Dr. Mirza offers the latest advances in hip replacement surgery to ensure that you achieve the best results possible from your surgery, including greater mobility and improved quality of life.
How does arthritis affect your hip?
The hip is a “ball and socket” joint. The ball-shaped head at the upper end of the femur (thigh bone) fits into a socket in the pelvic bone. The surfaces of the joint are covered with articular cartilage, which cushions the joint and allows for smooth movement. The synovial membrane, a thin tissue that secretes a small amount of fluid to lubricate the joint, also surrounds the hip joint.
Over time, arthritis can wear down or damage the articular cartilage, eventually to the point that the bones begin to rub together. This can cause severe pain and stiffness in the hip, making it difficult for you to perform even simple movements like walking, bending, or sitting.
Nonsurgical treatments like anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and injections are used initially to treat hip pain caused by arthritis. At Summit Orthopaedics, we also offer hip preservation techniques to preserve remaining healthy cartilage in the hip, helping patients delay or avoid the need for surgery.
For some patients, however, arthritis damage progresses to the point that nonsurgical and hip preservation techniques are not sufficient in relieving hip pain. For those patients, hip replacement surgery may be an option.
Is hip replacement surgery right for you?
Have you considered hip replacement surgery to help improve your arthritis pain? Here are some facts that may help in making your decision:
- There is no way to reverse cartilage damage in the hip caused by arthritis. The state of your hip arthritis will not improve over time. In fact, it will generally get worse as time goes on. There are no exercises, diets, vitamins, or minerals that will make any difference.
- The rate at which a patient’s condition deteriorates can vary greatly from person to person. For one person, the pain may become unbearable within 6 months. For another person with the same degree of arthritis, the pain may remain at a tolerable level for several years.
- More than 98% of patients who have had a hip replacement operation have no major complications that leave them in any way dissatisfied with the surgery.
- The longer your arthritis forces you to restrict your activity, the softer your bones become, and the weaker your muscles become.
- If your pain and disability are not responding to conservative measures, you will likely need to have a hip replacement at some point.
Don’t put off hip replacement surgery for another year or two. Enjoy your life free of pain.
What can you expect during hip replacement surgery?
The goal of hip replacement surgery is to alleviate hip pain caused by arthritis and enable you to participate in everyday activities with better hip function. To achieve this, your surgeon will replace the damaged portions of the hip joint with prosthetic components.
During the procedure, your surgeon will remove the “ball” portion of the hip joint and replace it with a stemmed ball-shaped prosthetic made of either metal or ceramic. The hip socket will also be resurfaced with a cup made of ceramic or metal that may be lined with a plastic cup. The ball component fits into the cup, creating the new hip joint.
There are several different approaches orthopedic surgeons may use to perform a hip replacement that differs based on the location of the incision.
What is recovery like for hip replacement surgery?
After hip replacement surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital for 1-3 days before going home. Once discharged from the hospital, you may need to use a walker for 2 weeks, and then progress to a cane for up to 4 weeks.
Additionally, patients are prescribed pain medication to take for 2-3 weeks after surgery to help with pain
Your doctor may also recommend that you take at least 4 to 6 weeks off from work, and wait up to 6 weeks before resuming normal activities, like driving.
After being discharged from the hospital, we recommend that our patients participate in physical therapy for 6 weeks after surgery. Physical therapy is a critical component of recovery from hip replacement surgery, as it helps you with mobility and strengthening of the new hip.
The key to your recovery is following your doctor’s guidelines and your hip replacement team’s prescribed rehabilitation routine.
What are the risks associated with hip replacement surgery?
The risks associated with hip replacement surgery include:
- Infection in the Joint
- Blood Clots
- Dislocation or Loosening of the Joint
- Prosthetic Breakage
- Nerve Injuries
If you experience any of these problems after surgery, be sure to contact your surgeon immediately.
Infections and blood clots are two serious risks. We use antibiotics and blood thinners to avoid these complications. We also take special precautions in the operating room to reduce the risk of infections. Your surgeon will discuss ways to reduce your risk of infection including, losing weight, quitting smoking, and controlling your blood sugar. If you need help in any of these areas, just ask. We have resources to help you.
Hip Replacement Surgery in Portland, Oregon
Our hip replacement surgeon, Dr. Mirza, has training in adult arthritis and joint replacement surgery. His practice focuses on personalized care for patients of all ages seeking to reduce pain, improve function, and return to active lifestyles. Dr. Mirza is board-certified by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and is vice president of the Oregon Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (OAOS).
If you think hip replacement surgery may be right for you, please call our office at (503) 850-9940 to request an appointment.