How to Know When It's Time for a Hip Replacement

Hip pain and stiffness make walking and other day-to-day activities a challenge for the patient. In the severe conditions, hip replacement surgery is the only option for some people, but it should be considered after trying treatment with non-invasive options. It is mostly recommended when the other treatments have failed to show any improvement.

The other treatments that the patient would have undergone before considering a hip replacement are-

  • Pain medicines 

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs or shots 

  • Physical therapy (physical rehab)

  • Exercise 

  • Weight loss

For patients dealing with chronic pain in the hip, and considering a replacement, the activities from every day are a huge pain for them. This is one of the primary reasons that people opt for replacements. Some activities that become difficult due to hip pain are- 

  • Walk 

  • Stand up 

  • Sit down 

  • Bend over 

  • Climb stairs 

  • Shop for groceries 


A few other things to keep in mind about hip replacements - 

  • The replaced hip won’t last forever. 

  • Most begin to loosen in around 10 to 20 years. If a person underwent a replacement in the early years, he or she is most likely to go for another one later in life.

  • A revision or follow-up procedure might be required.

  • Full recovery takes up to 6 to 12 months. The patients end up feeling pain in the replaced area for a long time, even after the surgery.

  • The person won’t be able to drive after the surgery for a long time.

  • The person will have to walk with a cane. 

  • Physical therapy is needed to learn how to move with your new hip. Exercises are told to be done to make the replaced hip stronger.

  • Changes in the home are necessary. Lifestyle modifications need to be done to adapt with the new hip. Even if there is someone to help, the patient needs to install handrails, a shower bench, or other items to help during the recovery.

  • The cost of the surgery is high.


Signs & symptoms that Indicate the need for hip replacement surgery? 

Hip pain can have a variety of causes, not all of which make the person an eligible candidate for hip joint replacement. 

For instance, constant or long-lasting stiffness of the hip joint is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis whereas if the pain localizes in the buttocks region it may be related to sciatica. 

However, in most of the cases of hip pain and discomfort, it can be directly related to the hip joint. Symptoms that it is the right time to undergo a hip replacement surgery are - 

  • Mobility issues, especially if the level of mobility is progressively worsening over time. 

  • Persistent pain and swelling in the hip. This pain is persistent.

  • Hip pain worsening during rainy weather 

  • Inability to sleep due to the discomfort and the pain

  • A “grating” feeling of the hip joint 

  • Increasing difficulty in climbing stairs. These symptoms also worsen over time. 

  • Over the counter pain medications are no longer effective.


How Is a Diagnosis Made? 

To determine if the person is a good candidate for hip replacement surgery, they need to through a thorough examination. 

This examination will include: 

  • A complete medical history evaluation, including the previous injuries or illnesses that might relate to the hip pain

  • A physical assessment to determine the range of motion, pain level and the strength of the natural hip

  • Other imaging techniques including MRIs and X-rays.


What Do You Need to Know About hip replacement surgery in India?

Total hip replacement surgery in india, or total hip arthroplasty, uses a prosthetic joint to replace the damaged one. Special metals including cobalt-chromium and titanium, and polyethylene plastics, are used to make the artificial joints. These are very safe to use inside the body. They are long-lasting and are extremely durable. 

The procedure for total hip replacement surgery can mostly be included in the following steps: 

  • Separating the femur from the hip socket 

  • Removing the damaged ball from the femur 

  • Removing the damaged bone and cartilage 

  • Inserting the metal shell into the pelvic socket and using bone grafting material to secure it 

  • Completing the artificial socket and adding the plastic liner

  • Preparing the femur to receive the metal implant 

  • Placing the metal implant into the femur 

  • Attaching a metal ball component to the stem of the bone


Hip replacement surgery is very effective, and most patients are relieved from the pain and see a lot of improvement in mobility and stamina. With the proper recovery and physical therapy, the people are able to enjoy walking, swimming, biking, and other low-impact activities without impediment.


Risks - 

They include: 

  • Blood clots - Clots can be produced in the leg after surgery. These can dislocate and cause harm to the body.

  • Infection - Infections occurring at the site of the incision is very common. This infection can sometimes result in the failure of the replacement. 

  • Fracture - During surgery, the healthy portion of the hip can fracture. This results in an extended surgical requirement.

  • Dislocation - Certain positions can cause the ball to dislocate from the socket. This requires immediate medical intervention.

  • Change in leg length - The surgery can result in indifferent lengths of the legs. This can cause a long-standing impediment to the patient. 



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