Joint Replacement Patient Guide

Joint Replacement Patient Guides



Severe arthritis in the hip can lead to severe pain and inability to walk. Doctors may recommend surgery for people suffering from severe arthritis in the hip to relieve their pain and help them move more easily.
If your doctor recommends surgery for you, the decision whether or not to have surgery is also yours. This reference summary will review the benefits and risks of this surgery.


The hip joint joins the leg to the pelvis. The head of the femur, or thighbone, has the shape of a ball that fits into a socket in the pelvis. The surfaces of the ball and socket should be smooth and allow painless movement.

Symptoms and Their Causes

Arthritis, or inflammation of the joint, causes the surfaces to become rough. This can result in severe pain and may even lead to the inability to walk.
Hip arthritis can result from chronic inflammation of the joint or may be caused by a previous injury. The pain may interfere with normal work and activities. Walking may become very difficult.

Alternative Treatments

Patients may try medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen to decrease the inflammation in the hip joint. Physical therapy may also help keep the joint as mobile as possible For overweight patients, losing weight may help relieve the stress on the hip joint. If an operation is done, losing weight will also increase the success of the hip replacement operation. Weight can be lost by eating a low-fat diet. Careful, regular exercise can also help reduce excess weight.

Surgical Treatment

The operation is done through an incision in the hip. The head of the femur is cut and the socket is prepared to accept an artificial surface known as “prosthesis.”
The head and neck of the femur are replaced with a high-grade metal prosthesis. The socket is replaced with a metal shell lined with medical grade high-density plastic. Depending on the type, the prosthesis may need to be cemented to the bone.
However, some types of prostheses do not need to be cemented. Instead, the surrounding bone grows into the prosthesis and acts like cement. At the end of the operation, the skin is 09:00 am To 11:00 am. A drain may be used to remove excess fluid.
There are two ways of approaching the hip. The first and most common way is from the side. The other way is from the front and is known as the ‘anterior’ approach. The anterior approach requires a smaller incision and less post operative precautions.
Your surgeon will discuss with you who approach he or she will take.

After the Surgery

Depending on which operation you had, it may be very important after the operation not to cross your legs, bend your hip, or sit up in bed. Your orthopedic surgeon will tell you about the limitations specific to your type of operation.
Over time, you will be able to increase your range of movement under the strict supervision of a physical therapist. As you gradually strengthen your hip muscles, you may resume most of your usual activities. You may need the help of a walker initially to take the pressure off of your new hip.
Eventually, you will most likely be able to walk without any aid. Because of the extensive physical therapy program and because initially the patient has difficult limitations on movement, a short stay at an extended care facility may be needed to improve the outcome of the surgery. If you need this, the social workers at your hospital will help you with the arrangements.


Sometimes a hip can be severely damaged from a variety of causes, such as arthritis or an injury. This can cause pain and the inability to walk. When appropriate, a hip replacement can replace the ball on the femur and socket in the pelvis. The artificial replacement parts are called “prostheses.” Hip replacement is very successful in helping decrease your pain and improve your quality of life. This operation is safe, with good results. However, as you have learned, complications may happen. Knowing about them will help you detect them early if they happen.

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