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A Closer Look at Hip Replacement Surgery

A Closer Look at Hip Replacement Surgery

If hip pain is making it difficult for you to walk and run, do simple tasks or work, you may want to talk to your health care provider about hip replacement surgery.

Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic hip joint. The objective of this surgical procedure is to alleviate pain as you move your hip joint and improve the function of your hip. Hip replacement is also done to remedy pain and debilitation caused by health conditions such as osteoarthritis, fractures, dislocations, rheumatoid arthritis and other hip-related issues. There are over 230,000 hip replacements done every year in the United States alone. The decision to do hip surgery depends on several factors such as your age, level of activity, health and the degree of pain you’re experiencing.

The procedure usually takes about two to three hours and hospital confinement post surgery takes around four to five days. The recovery of the patient depends on variables such as his age, type of surgery performed and the success of rehabilitation. Most patients are required to use a walker after surgery. They can start driving within three to four weeks and they can slowly increase their activities within 3 months. Rehabilitation will take around 6 months total.

With any surgery come possible complications. This goes the same in hip replacement surgery.  Common possible complications include infection, bleeding, dislocation, blood clots, stiffness, changes in the length of the leg and fracture.

Although hip replacement is now common, there are available alternatives to surgery. Non-surgical alternatives may include administration of anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections, activity modification and physical therapy. Meanwhile other surgical procedures such as hip fusion, hip osteotomy and hip resurfacing surgery can also be considered as alternatives to hip replacement surgery.

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