There are a number of symptoms of needing hip replacement surgery. Hip replacement materials and hip replacement recovery time need to be taken into consideration when making the determination to have hip replacement surgery since the operation is not an elective procedure, but major surgery. The cartilage and bone begin to rub against one another limiting movement and causing pain. Arthritis is a common reason for hip replacement but there are other reasons such as hip degeneration.
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The symptoms should not be allowed to progress to the point where movement is so limited it cannot be done unassisted. There are potential side effects of having the surgery that can affect hip replacement recovery time. Pain is common and treated with prescription medication until it becomes tolerable. The dislocation of the hip is common since the prosthetic is typically smaller than the natural hip bone.
Hip replacements usually fall into two categories uncemented and cemented.
The replacement surgery falls into two categories which are partial (Hip Resurfacing) or total. The hip replacement materials used for the partial include a metal cap that has a guide stem to set it in the pelvis. The partial replacement requires less time to recover than the full replacement which includes the entire hip joint and not just the replacement of the femur head.
The symptoms of needing hip replacement surgery are not the only thing that you should be aware of before the procedure. The surgery can offer relief from osteoarthritis symptoms which can give increased mobility. The original hip parts are replaced with artificial parts which can eliminate or minimize the pain associated with the hip problems. There will likely be drains in places to get the bleeding off the hip; you will also receive analgesia and a medication to thin the blood.
The recovery process of having a hip replacement performed will include seeing a physical therapist. The therapist will start with bed exercises to help with the movement of the artificial implant, and speed up the time it takes for recovery from the surgery. The improvement of circulation is also a goal of the physical therapy. Crutches or a walker will have to be used in order to assist walking immediately following the surgery.
There are certain things that patients should avoid following the surgery including:
- Bending the hip over ninety degrees
- Pointing the toes inward
- Crossing the legs
Avoiding these actions will help to keep the hip in place, preventing dislocation by restricting the movement of the new hip.
Hip Degeneration can lead to the replacement of the hip; signs include a limp in order to take the weight off the hip. There is often pain and limited movement when extending the leg sideways, backwards or performing rotary movements. The surgery to correct these has a number of variations and different techniques are preferred by different surgeons.
Patients will only be assisted in walking short distances by a physical therapist after the surgery. There are complications that should be watched for after the surgery such as damage to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic is so close to the hips joint capsule that it could be cut or over extended during the manipulation of the hip. Trauma could be done to the blood vessels in the area.
The symptoms of needing hip replacement surgery should be discussed with a physician as soon as they begin. This allows patients to go over the options, risks and precautions that should be taken to ensure they are fully prepared and making an informed decision. Asking questions about the procedure, recommendations for after the surgery and how complications are handled will ensure that you are prepared for the surgery.