Arthritis and years of activity can wear down hip cartilage, which provides cushioning between bones.
Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure involving replacement of a painful, diseased hip joint with an artificial implant. Hip replacements provide stability and cushion bones so you can move more easily with little or no discomfort.
Each year, more than 230,000 Americans receive hip replacements according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The procedure is highly effective in reducing pain and returning individuals to active, independent lifestyles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should have a hip replacement?
You should consider surgery if hip pain due to arthritis or loss of cartilage severely limits your ability to walk, work or perform simple daily activities.
Is there an alternative to hip replacement?
Medications, exercise and other non-operative treatments may temporarily ease hip pain. However, most physicians agree hip replacement surgery is the best method for alleviating serious hip pain caused by arthritis. Surgery is recommended only when other treatments fail.
How long is the hospital stay?
Each case is different, but you will probably spend two or three days in the hospital after a hip replacement. In some cases of arthritis involving both hips, replacing one hip may temporarily reduce the stress on the other hip.
Is a blood transfusion required?
Most patients do not require a transfusion after hip replacement surgery.
Are hip replacements cemented?
Hip replacements are successfully performed with all-cemented components or a combination of cemented and cement-free parts. The technique used depends upon many factors.
How painful is surgery and recovery?
You will be placed under spinal or general anesthesia during surgery. Post-surgery discomfort is controlled through clinically-proven methods that keep you comfortable and allow you to participate fully in your recovery. Any temporary discomfort does not compare to the pain of arthritis endured by most people in the months and years before surgery.
Are there complications?
Hip replacement surgery has undergone many refinements in the past 50 years. We take special precautions in the operating room and after surgery to protect your health. Complications from hip replacement are possible; your surgeon will review risks and complications with you prior to surgery.
How long is recovery?
Recovery times vary with each person. You will likely use crutches or a walker for about four weeks after surgery and resume driving within four weeks. You should be able to play golf, swim and pursue other activities within 12 weeks.