Category: hip replacement recovery

Hip Replacement Recovery

When I started my training in orthopaedics, hip replacement was seen as big operation with a high rate of blood transfusion and an extended stay in hospital. Despite its clearly defined long term success the operation often took over two hours and had infection rates between 2-5%.

Hip Replacement Recovery

Fast forward to 2017 and we find many things have changed. No doubt the technology of our devices has changed, but so has our approach to surgery, pain management and rehabilitation timelines.

SURGICAL APPROACH

There are a number of different ways of approaching the hip for performing hip replacement. The two most popular today are the posterolateral approach and the direct anterior approach. Both approaches have their pros and cons, but when performed well these approaches allow a safe and rapid return to activities without a long hospital stay. The most important considerations when assessing suitability for either approach are the patient’s own anatomy, the surgeon’s experience and training.

Today, hip replacement is routinely performed in less than one hour of operating time, which helps to reduce the risks of extended anaesthesia and infection.

BLOOD PRESERVATION

In the last 5-10 years surgeons have recognised that the lower the transfusion rate the lower the complication rate. This has led hip replacement surgeons to develop surgical approaches and anaesthetic techniques that minimise intraoperative and postoperative blood loss. Blood transfusion in routine hip replacement used to be commonplace, now it is rare.

PAIN MANAGEMENT

Along with shorter operating times and less invasive surgical approaches, better techniques of post-operative pain management have revolutionised total hip replacement. Instead of catching up with the pain modern pain management preemts pain to encourage early mobilisation and weight bearing from day one.

POST OPERATIVE REHABILITATION

Hip replacement rehabilitation today is a far cry from twenty years ago. Patients are encouraged to walk, with full weight bearing from day one. Crutches and sticks are used as ‘training wheels’ so that patients can confidently regain balance and confidence. These walking aids can be dispensed as soon as strength and confidence are restored. Often the soreness of the surgery is much less than the preoperative arthritis pain.

Many fit and healthy patients are ready for discharge from hospital after one or two days.

The best exercise after hip replacement is often walking, with appropriate advice for the physiotherapist about muscle control and retraining. Often the muscles around the hip have deteriorated before surgery, and specific strengthening exercises to strengthen the core and butt muscles will help a lot.

Depending on the patient and their physical condition, many patients are walking independently within 2 weeks of surgery and are ready to return to light work soon after.

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When to Consider Hip Replacement Surgery?

 

Hip Replacement SurgeryIf you suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid or septic arthritis, or you have Paget’s disease or hip dysplasia, you may experience significant hip pain and reduced movement, which is often significant enough to affect your day-to-day life. While non-surgical treatments, such as medications, physiotherapy and lifestyle changes, are available and can offer some success, these are not always sufficiently effective to relieve pain and improve your functional ability. In these instances, a hip replacement also termed a hip arthroplasty is usually recommended to restore your mobility and quality of life. With a variety of centers in the capital offering surgery to replace a damaged hip joint with an artificial prosthesis, it is important that you do your research before choosing a clinic for your surgery. Choosing a surgeon with expertise in hip arthroplasty makes sure that you will receive the best possible result from your joint replacement surgery so that your expectations of treatment are fully met.

Most doctors have more than 20 years of experience in performing surgical hip replacements. As they keep abreast of developments within the field of orthopedics, they work with the most up-to-date techniques and prostheses, all of which are backed by evidence from clinical studies to guarantee their effectiveness. Besides their commitment to the latest advances in hip arthroplasty, He or She also makes sure he delivers patient-centered care. This means that he involves you in decision-making and tailors your treatment to your individual needs. With his level of expertise and commitment to best practice you can trust that you will receive a complete hip replacement recovery.

Surgery Options:
Before you have your surgery you will meet with an orthopaedic surgeon for an initial assessment. This not only allows him to check your suitability for a hip replacement, but also enables him to advice on the most appropriate prosthesis for your circumstances. In cases where your hip damage is not sufficiently advanced to justify surgery, he will discuss more conservative treatment options with you and may suggest hip resurfacing as an alternative. Certain health problems are sometimes a contraindication to joint replacement surgery, the surgeon will also review your medical history before making a decision. When it comes to the type of procedure he recommends, a complete clinical assessment to decide whether a partial or total hip replacement is more suitable, and whether you would benefit most from a metal-on-plastic, ceramic-on-plastic or a metal-on-metal artificial hip joint. Where necessary he may also advise weight loss or recommend other lifestyle changes to aid your recovery following hip replacement surgery.