Frisco & Dallas Hip Replacement
What to Expect from Hip Replacement Surgery
The hip is one of the most commonly replaced joints. In essence, the hip is a ball and socket joint that allows us to move our legs and bend and straighten our body. The surfaces of the bones in our hip joint are covered with articular cartilage. This is a strong, smooth cover that cushions the ends of our bones and allows them to move easily. The remaining surfaces of our hip joint are covered with synovial membranes. This smooth, thin tissue secretes synovial fluid that lubricates the joint and eliminates friction between the bones.
The hip is one of our body’s largest weight-bearing joints. The primary function of the hip joint is to support the weight of our head, trunk, and arms. It provides a base of support that allows us to hold our body upright when we sit or stand and provides stability for our upper body while positioning the lower body for movement. Likewise, the hip joint allows our legs to move to the front, back, and side to side as well as rotate inward and outward as we walk, run, climb stairs, and more.
You see now the importance of the hip joint in our body. It serves many purposes and allows us to complete everyday tasks that would otherwise be next to impossible without. When the hip joint is no longer properly working, the limits placed on our life become significant. That is why the need for hip replacement surgery is so substantial.
Hip Replacement Surgery
What are the First Signs of Needing a Hip Replacement?
Osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis, is the main reason for a hip replacement surgery. Other conditions, including trauma, may also cause the need for hip replacement.
Arthritis is a progressive and degenerative disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Arthritis can occur for many reasons, including aging, “wear and tear,” injury, disease, and developmental abnormalities of the hip structure.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis are all types of arthritis that most frequently develop in the hip. Arthritis causes the protective cartilage in the hip to wear away, which can cause painful bone-on-bone rubbing.
While the symptoms of hip arthritis can be tolerable with medications and lifestyle adjustments, there may come a time when surgical treatment is necessary. Hip replacement surgery, also called hip arthroplasty, involves removing the damaged portion of the hip and replacing it with artificial implants called prosthetics. These devices are a replacement for the natural joint and allow pain-free movement.
There are many symptoms that may arise that indicate a need for hip replacement surgery.
The main symptom of severe hip arthritis is a dull and aching pain. You may feel pain in your hip, groin, thigh, buttock, and sometimes in the knee. The pain may occur both while you are moving or resting and may even keep you awake at night. Your hip may also feel stiff, creating difficulty in moving or lifting your leg and completing everyday activities.
As your arthritis progresses and becomes more severe, medication, rest, and physical therapy may fail to relieve your symptoms. Hip arthroplasty is recommended when non-surgical treatments do not provide relief for your symptoms.
How Long Does Hip Replacement Surgery Take?
Hip arthroplasty involves removing your damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial one. This is an inpatient procedure, and you will most likely be admitted to the hospital on the day of your surgery. You can expect to stay at the hospital for a few days after. The procedure itself typically takes one to two hours to complete.
The most common types of anesthesia for the surgery are general anesthesia and spinal anesthesia. The general anesthesia will put you to sleep, while the spinal anesthesia will numb your body from the waist down. With spinal anesthesia, you will remain awake but sedated, so your memory will be blurry. Your doctor will help you decide which anesthesia is the best option for you.
Your surgeon will make an incision on the side of your hip to access your joint. Your hip joint will be opened to allow your surgeon to remove damaged bone, cartilage, or connective tissue. Then, the femoral head and the cartilage or bone from the hip socket will be removed.
Your hip joint will then be replaced with an artificial joint. There are a variety of artificial joint types; your surgeon will choose the most appropriate one for you. A highly-polished, strong metal ball will be implanted or attached to the top of your femur. A durable socket made of plastic or a combination of plastic and metal will be attached to your bone with either surgical screws or surgical cement. This new artificial joint will allow you to perform most of the pain-free movements that you were once able to perform.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Hip Replacement?
You will likely stay in the hospital for two to five days following your Dallas hip replacement surgery. You’ll be receiving pain medication to make you as comfortable as possible during this time. A V-shaped pillow may be placed between your legs to position your hip while it heals. It is recommended that you sleep with this pillow between your legs for about six weeks.
Your physician will temporarily restrict certain movements to prevent your artificial joint from dislocating. These movements may include crossing your legs, bending your hips at more than a 90-degree angle, and pointing your feet inward or outwards depending on the surgical approach to your hip.
The success of your surgery will depend, in part, on how well you follow your instructions during the first few weeks following surgery. You will likely need help from another person during the first few days at home. If you do not have family members or friends nearby, ask your doctor about possible alternative arrangements. In many cases, doctors will recommend time in a rehabilitation center following the surgery.
You should be able to resume light activities soon after your procedure, but the total healing will take three to four months. Overall, the majority of people experience a dramatic reduction of hip pain and gain the ability to resume functional activities in the months following a hip arthroplasty.
What Not To Do After Hip Replacement Surgery?
You may have to change the way you do some activities, such as bending, to protect your new hip. Things to avoid while recovering from the surgery include crossing your legs at the knees, leaning forward while sitting, and bending at the waist beyond a 90 degree angle. You should also avoid bringing your knee up any higher than your hip.
There are many simple things that may be of second nature to you that you should be wary of. For example, if you drop something, you need to be extremely careful when picking it up and you should avoid picking something up off the floor while sitting down altogether. You also need to be extremely cautious when bending, and do not turn your feet inward or outward excessively when doing so.
You will be advised to avoid high-impact sports, such as jogging, for the rest of your life. High-impact sports or weight gain can put stress on your artificial joint, causing it to become loose or wear faster. However, it is very important that you continue with your recommended exercise program.
Exercises After Hip Replacement Surgery
Your physician will create an exercise program for you to adhere to following your hip replacement surgery. Our Frisco and Dallas physical therapists will help you gain your hip mobility. It is important that you follow your exercise program and safety precautions when you return home. When you are fully recovered, you may resume many of your former activities.
Some of what may be included in your exercise program includes the following:
- Ankle Pumps
- Quad Sets
- Gluteal Sets
- Heel Slides
- Short Arc Quads
- Long Arc Quads
- Standing Mini Squats
- Standing March
- Ball Squeezes
- Hip Hike
- Straight Leg Raises
It’s okay if you don’t know what some or all of these exercises are. Your doctor will explain each exercise and demonstrate how to properly execute them.
Hip Replacement PT
Physical therapy and/or occupational therapy will begin the day after your surgery. You will need to use a walker, cane, or crutches while standing and walking. Your physical therapist will help you with walking and show you how to go up and down stairs. You’ll also learn new ways to exercise in order to strengthen your hip.
An occupational therapist will show you ways to dress and bathe within the realm of your movement restrictions. Your therapists may also recommend durable medical equipment for your home, such as a raised toilet seat or a shower chair. The equipment serves to make it easier for you to take care of yourself as you heal and helps to prevent further injury.
Your therapists will also suggest ways to avoid and prevent falls in your home. This may simply mean removing throw rugs and making sure that your walking path is free of cords and clutter. You should also continue to use the durable medical equipment as advised.
Hip Replacement Surgeon in Dallas
At Sports Physicians Orthopedics and Rehabilitation of Texas (SPORT) in Dallas and Frisco, our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Robert Berry, will be performing your hip replacement. With years of experience and a number of successful surgeries in Frisco and Dallas behind him, you will be back in the game in no time. If you believe you may need hip arthroplasty in Dallas or Frisco, schedule an appointment with us today. You can contact us by calling 469-200-2832 or by completing our online intake form. We also accept walk-ins.