There is nothing particularly new about hip replacements. They have been going on for nearly half a century now. Should you be in the position of needing to consider one then you may find this article of significant help and interest.
We will discuss here what the reasons are behind having a hip replacement, what to expect at the time of the operation and how to get yourself right as fast as possible after the operation.
Sir John Charnley an eminent English surgeon is considered to be the pioneer of hip replacement surgery. His early work developing the basis of the artificial hips used today was being done in the 1960s.
Over the past decades advances in surgical techniques and materials have seen a diversity in types of hip replacement. There are however two basic types, previously cemented and neglected. Thie importance of this will be covered further on.
So When Should you consider Having a Hip Replacement?
It really is all to do with whether a hip replacement would improve the quality of your life. You may well need to discuss matters with your physician or surgeon in order to ascertain whether having a hip replacement wil help you.
Why Do People Need Hip Replacements?
The most common reason behind needing a hip replacement is arthritis of the hip, primarily osteo-arthritis. Over time the joint wears and is less able to perform its role.
Signs and Symptoms of Hip Degeneration
Sufferers of hip degeneration often walk with a noticeable limp, commonly leaving to the painful side as they take weight on the hip in question. Movements at the joint, particularly backwards (extension), sideways (abduction) and the rotary movements became painful and limited. Pain is often described as a deep ache which can be felt in the buttock, hip, thigh and knee.
There are many variations in the actual surgery and different surgeons prefer different techniques. The basis of the surgery is the removal of the degenerate head of the femur and the to replace it with the prosthetic implant together with a new socket or acetabulum in the pelvis. This creates a totally new articular structure commonly called A TOTAL HIP REPLACEMENT or THR.
What To Expect After Surgery
After your operation it is likely that you will have drains to remove any bleeding from the hip. You are also likely to have some form of analgesia and possibly blood thinning medication.
You will likely be encouraged by your physical therapist to do soime simple bed exercises to maintain good circulation and aid your recovery very soon after your operation.Within the first two days of surgery you will normally be assisted by your therapist to get out of bed and walk.Initially this is likely to be small distances but this will increase gradually over time. You will probably require crutches or even a frame initially but as you get more confident over the coming days and weeks you will be able to discard these on the advise of your therapist.
If you have an unforgettable hip you will be advised to probably use your crutches to reduce the amount of weight your hip has to take for the first six weeks. A cemented hip how is able to take your full body weight the first time you can get up so it will be up to you and your therapist how long you continue with walking aids for.
After surgery you will be encouraged to walk regularly and correctly. This has for a long time been considered the very best way of rehabilitating after a hip replacement. Specific exercise regimes are not usually advocated after a hip replacement.
It is important that you avoid certain positions and actions to avoid the possibility of a dislocation of your hip. Crossing your legs or excess bending at the hip is not advised. Both of these positions especially if they are done together and particularly so with weight on the leg are considered to be the positions most likely to result in a dislocation.
It is also possible that your operating leg will feel as if it is longer than the other one. This is not necessarily the case and this sensation will generally disappear over the coming months.
Patients are routinely advised to wear anti-embolism stockings for the first six weeks to reduce the possibility of an embolism. Although relatively rare they can be life threatening and feeling breathless or unwell may be a sign that you are suffering such form a condition. If this is the case medical attention should be taken as an emergency.
Other than this over the coming months you can look forward to gradually increasing your walking and functional activities, You can swim as soon as your scar has healed, walk, play golf, dance and be as active as you are capable. Aggressive sports of a high intensity and of a contact or jarring nature are not recommended however.
Do not forget it can be a good few months and even up to two years in cases especially if you have had an unforgettable hip before you reach your true potential again. So patience is a must.