What is a Total Hip Replacement?
Total Hip replacement surgery is an operation that involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased hip joint with an artificial joint. Adults of any age can be considered for a hip replacement, although most operations are carried out on people over the age of 50 years.
What does a Hip Replacement entail?
Hip replacement surgery is usually performed either under a general anaesthetic (you're asleep throughout the procedure) or under a spinal or epidural anaesthetic (you're awake but have no feeling from the waist down). Spinal or Epidural anesthesia is generally safer than General anaesthesia, provides better pain relief and the recovery is quicker.
A cut is made down the side of your hip to expose the hip joint. The head of your thigh bone is resected and replaced with either a metallic or a ceramic head, with a shaft going down your thigh bone. The socket of hip joint is shaved and replaced with either a plastic socket or a metallic socket with a ceramic liner. Adjustments are made to ensure that your hip joint is stable, that your leg lengths are equal and the tension in the muscles around the hip joint is restored. The wound is closed with either stitches or clips and a dressing is applied.
The procedure usually takes between 60-80 minutes, but the whole exercise of taking you down to theatre, giving you the anaesthesia, carrying out the operation, allowing you to recover and return back to the ward could take between 2 to 3 hours.
Objectives of a Hip Replacement
Hip Replacement surgery is a very successful operation and often considered as the “operation of the century”. The objectives of Hip replacement surgery is to improve your pain, mobility and quality of life.