Patients with advanced hip arthritis live with painful hip joints that interfere with their lives. They often cannot walk long distances because of pain and experience difficulties getting in and out of cars and on and off chairs. Sometimes they are unable to change position comfortably when sitting or lying down and have difficulty putting shoes and socks on due to reduced hip mobility.
Non-surgical options are limited, but hip replacement surgery has been remarkably effective.
During a hip replacement
, the old hip “ball” is removed and a new cup is placed within the old cup. A new ball is also placed on a metal “wedge” that fits inside the thigh bone and holds the new ball in place. Instead of rough bone on rough bone, we have a smooth metal or ceramic ball in contact with a smooth plastic liner in the cup.
Patients are almost always able to bear weight fully right away, typically using a walker and rapidly switching to a cane. If the surgery is done “from the back” or posterior, usually there will be some positions that need to be avoided during the first few months to prevent dislocation. If the surgery is performed “from the front” or anterior, limitations are not placed on patient and recovery is easier and less inconvenient.
Many patients say that they “have their life back,” and they resume the activities their painful hips had previously denied them. After surgery, patients are able to get back to walking, biking, cross-country skiing and even dancing without pain.
Hip replacement allows patients to return to a nearly normal life. If hip pain is interfering with the lifestyle you need and want, the orthopedic surgeons at Prevea Health are here to help.