Hip Replacement

Hip replacement is a major surgery and requires a comprehensive evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon. In order to decide if hip replacement is right for you, the surgeon’s evaluation may include:

  • Medical history, including overall health, the extent of your hip pain and how it affects your ability to perform everyday activities.

  • Physical examination to assess hip mobility, strength and alignment.

  • X-rays to help to determine damage or deformity in your hip.

  • Other tests such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues of your hip.

Anterolateral total hip replacement

Anterolateral total hip replacement is a minimally-invasive procedure performed through a small incision on the side of the hip. The muscles and tendons are not disturbed, so the prosthetic joint is more likely to remain in place during the recovery process.

Patients who have had anterolateral hip replacement do not have the same movement restrictions as those who have had a posterior total hip replacement. This procedure typically results in less pain and earlier discharge.

Posterior hip replacement

A posterior hip replacement is a traditional approach that accesses the diseased hip joint, removes and resurfaces the arthritic bone and implants the replacement joint. A prosthetic joint is specially selected by the surgeon.

Hip replacement surgery risks

 As with any surgery, hip replacement has risks. The major risks for this procedure are associated with:

  • Complications with anesthesia

  • Stress related to surgery

  • Infection

  • Fracture

  • Blood clots in the legs

  • Leg swelling

  • Stiffness

  • Unequal leg-length

  • Nerve or artery damage

  • Dislocation

Call your doctor right away, if you are experiencing complications after surgery.

Hip replacement recovery

After a hip replacement, physical therapy will start as soon as possible. A nurse and rehabilitation specialist will help you walk in the hallway and give you a series of exercises to do in bed. You will also receive safety instructions and tips for making your daily routines easier when you return home.

Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication. A nurse will be available to explain the specific instructions for taking your medication. Depending on your progress, your surgeon may prescribe outpatient physical therapy. Physical therapy services can be arranged at your home if your surgeon feels it is appropriate.

Consult with your surgeon before returning to daily activity such as work, driving, and exercising.  Ask about the use of antibiotics for dental and other procedures after your surgery.