What is total hip replacement surgery?
During total hip replacement surgery, the head (the ball) of the femur (thigh bone) is removed and the prosthesis, a crook-shaped metal stem with a ball on top, is inserted into the femur. The worn-out surface of the hip socket is also removed, and the socket is re-lined with a metal and plastic bearing.
There are many variations in approach, technique and choice of prosthesis in total hip replacement surgery. Dr Kennedy will discuss his recommendations for your particular circumstances with you during your consultation (if surgery is appropriate).
When is total hip replacement surgery recommended?
Total hip replacement surgery is recommended to relieve pain and to restore movement of the hip joint when other treatments have not been beneficial for people with arthritis and avascular necrosis or following a fracture, dislocation or trauma to the joint.
What does hip replacement surgery involve?
Total hip replacement surgery is a major intervention and the risks and benefits will be discussed during your consultation.
Dr Kennedy chooses to use the “antero-lateral” approach to perform hip replacement surgery. The incision is lengthwise and located along the side of the upper thigh and buttock. The surgery takes about ninety minutes on average.
You will be admitted to hospital for 3-7 days depending on your progress, which varies a great deal from person to person. Physiotherapy usually begins the day after surgery and is extremely important to successful healing and recovery of hip movement and strength.
How long will it take to recover from hip replacement surgery?
The recovery period can be very variable. Typically, it can take 4-10 weeks before the new hip joint feels comfortable. Rehabilitation can take several months and requires considerable commitment and effort. You are advised not to run or jump on an artificial hip but if early complications are avoided, you should find that your new hip can last many years.
Following recovery from hip replacement surgery, you should be able to participate in most forms of activity, such as recreational walking, swimming, cycling, and low-key sports like golf, bowling, and tennis.