Total Hip Replacement

Total Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant. Hip replacement surgery can be performed as a total replacement or a hemi (half) replacement. Such joint replacement orthopaedic surgery is generally conducted to relieve arthritis pain or in some hip fractures.

Who Should Have Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

The most common reason for hip replacement is osteoarthritis in the hip joint. Your doctor might also suggest this surgery if you have:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (a disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling)
  • Osteonecrosis (a disease that causes the bone in joints to die)
  • Injury of the hip joint
  • Bone tumors that break down the hip joint.

These treatments may decrease hip pain and improve function. Sometimes the pain remains and makes daily activities hard to do. In this case, your doctor may order an x ray to look at the damage to the joint. If the x ray shows damage and your hip joint hurts, you may need a hip replacement.


How Should I Prepare for Surgery?

To prepare for surgery, you can:

  • Learn what to expect before, during, and after surgery
  • Ask the doctor for booklets about the surgery
  • Ask someone to drive you to and from the hospital
  • Arrange for someone to help you for a week or two after coming home from the hospital
  • Put things you need in one place at home (for instance, put the remote control, radio, telephone, medicine, tissues, and wastebasket next to your chair or bed)
  • Place items you use every day at arm level to avoid reaching up or bending down
  • Stock up on food
  • Make and freeze meals.

What Should I Do After Surgery?

Soon after surgery, you will meet a respiratory therapist and a physical therapist. The respiratory therapist may ask you to breathe deeply, cough, or blow into a device to check your lungs. Deep breathing helps to keep fluid out of your lungs after surgery.

The physical therapist will teach you how to sit up, bend over, and walk with your new hip. The therapist will also teach you simple exercises to help you get better. In some cases, within 1 to 2 days after surgery, you may be able to sit on the edge of the bed, stand, and even walk with help.