Hip replacement surgery is a procedure in which a doctor surgically removes a painful hip joint with arthritis (part of the thigh bone (femur) including the ball (head of femur) then a new, smaller artificial ball is fixed into the rest of the thigh bone. The surface of the existing socket in the pelvis (the acetabulum) is roughened to accept a new socket component that will join up (articulate) with the new ball component. This artificial joint is often made from metal and plastic components.
The replacement parts can be plastic (polyethylene), metal or ceramic and are used in different combinations:
- Metal-on-plastic (a metal ball with a plastic socket) is the most widely used combination
- Ceramic-on-plastic (a ceramic ball with a plastic socket) or ceramic-on-ceramic (where both parts are ceramic) are often used in younger, more active patients.
- Metal-on-metal (a metal ball with a metal socket) is very occasionally used in younger, more active patients
Total hip replacement is one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine. In the vast majority of cases, total hip replacement enables people to live more active lives without debilitating hip pain. Over time, however, a hip replacement can fail for a variety of reasons.
When this occurs, your doctor may recommend that you have a second operation to remove some or all of the parts of the original prosthesis and replace them with new ones. This procedure is called revision total hip replacement.
Although both procedures have the same goals—to relieve pain and improve function and quality of life—revision surgery is different than primary total hip replacement. Revision hip replacement is a longer, more complex procedure. It requires extensive planning, as well as the use of specialized implants and tools, in order to achieve a good result.
The various precautions that one must take before and after undergoing Hip Replacement Surgery are:
- Indulge in mild physical activities like walking even if it’s for 10 to 20 minutes
- Lose extra body weight as this can hinder the healing procedure.
- Abstain from smoking and drinking.
- Take all the prescribed medications religiously.
- Inform the doctor about current medication.
- Avoid eating heavy meals a day before the surgery, as it can lead to nausea and vomiting.
- Avoid putting unnecessary strain on the affected joint by lifting heavy objects
- Do not indulge in rigorous physical activities
- Avoid bending hip for any other reason
- Abstain from indulging in sexual activities
- Inform the doctor while experiencing any discomfort
- Do not perform any exercise without consulting a physiotherapist
- Keep the wound sterilised and covered, to avoid exposure to infections