Total Hip Replacement Surgery for Patients in El Paso and the Southwest
Our joints are responsible for our ability to move freely. They are able to withstand constant pressure and stress. This does not mean they are infallible, however. Take your hip joints, for instance. These joints are able to take constant stress and pressure throughout the day as we move from point A to point B. If your hip joint becomes compromised due to arthritis or injury, you will experience extreme pain and discomfort from even the simplest actions. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be time to consider total hip replacement surgery from Sun City Orthopaedic & Hand Surgery Specialists.
How Arthritis Affects The Hip
Arthritis is the leading cause of chronic hip pain. This chronic issue can manifest in a variety of ways. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is defined as age-related wear and tear, and it tends to be found in people who are 50 years or older. Individuals with a family history of arthritis may face osteoarthritis as they age. When you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage that’s meant to cushion the bones of your hip wears away, leaving the bones at risk of rubbing against each other. This constant rubbing will result in pain and stiffness.
Another type of arthritis that affects the hip is rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the tissue of your joints, causing them to become inflamed and thickened, eventually damaging the cartilage of the hip joint. Post-traumatic arthritis takes place after a serious hip injury or fracture which results in damaged cartilage, resulting in pain and stiffness. Simply put, any damage to the hip’s cartilage can lead to excess wear and tear that may eventually require total hip replacement.
What Happens When Your Hip Joint Gets Worn Down
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that connects the femur to the pelvis. This joint is protected by cartilage which gives the joint the ability to move whichever way you choose without resulting in any pain. If the cartilage wears down, however, the head of the femur will rub against the socket resulting in pain and stiffness. During total hip replacement surgery, the damaged femoral head will be removed and replaced with a special metal stem.
This metal stem is placed into the hollow center of your femur. The upper part of the step will then have a metal or ceramic ball placed on it, replacing the damaged femoral head. Any damaged cartilage surface of the socket will also be removed. It will be replaced with a new metal socket which is either screwed or cemented into place. Finally, a spacer will be placed between the ball and socket to provide smooth gliding motion. The entire hip joint will be replaced with metal or ceramic implants that will replicate the natural movements of the hip joint. Once the process is complete (and after physical therapy and recovery) you will be able to use your hip joints without having to suffer from any more pain.
When to Consider Total Hip Replacement Surgery
Total hip replacement surgery is a complex process that should be seen as the last option. If your hip issues are not as severe, you may be able to benefit from medication or physical therapy. If, however, the pain is unbearable and you’ve lost the ability to walk freely, then you should consider the surgery. You may benefit from total hip replacement surgery if you suffer from hip pain that limits simple everyday activities. If walking or bending results in pain, then a replacement may be necessary to restore your mobility. If you feel pain even while you’re resting, then the joint may be in jeopardy. Stiffness is another sign that may lead to total hip replacement. Simply put, if any type of movement results in hip pain, speak to your doctor about the available options.
Preparing for Total Hip Replacement Surgery
In order to properly prepare for total hip replacement surgery, you will first speak to your orthopaedic surgeon about your medical history. Topics such as the history of your hip pain and certain activities that result in pain will be discussed. Once your surgeon has gathered the necessary information, it’s time for the physical examination which will assess your hip’s current mobility, strength and alignment. Your surgeon will also take x-rays of your hip in order to clearly see how damaged the joint is.
In order to fully prepare for the surgery, you will undergo a medical evaluation. Blood and urine sample tests will also be required as well as an electrocardiogram in order to properly plan your surgery. In some instances, the doctor may ask you to lose weight before your surgery in order to reduce stress on the new hip. Weight loss may also decrease risks associated with surgery.
What Happens After The Surgery is Complete?
Once the replacement surgery is complete, the medical staff will transport you to the recovery room. You will remain here for a few hours as you recover from the anesthesia. Once you wake up, you will be moved into your hospital room. In order to recover fully and quickly, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions as closely as possible. Although you’ll be able to move about after surgery (with the assistance of a walker or crutches), you should prepare home assistance so someone can cook and clean for you. For the first few weeks, it’s crucial to rest and care for your surgery wound as comprehensively as possible. Your surgeon will remove your stitches or staples around two weeks after the surgery. Although you may experience loss of appetite after the surgery, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet in order to accelerate the healing process. Taking iron supplements will also allow your tissue to heal properly. And, don’t forget to stay hydrated! You will also be on medication to thin your blood and may be required to wear support stockings.
How You’ll Benefit from Total Hip Replacement
Once your surgery is complete and you’ve recovered fully, you’ll be able to walk without feeling pain. This newfound ability to walk and move freely should not be squandered. In order for your hip replacement to last as long as possible, make sure to participate in light exercise on a regular basis. Make sure to take precautions in order to avoid any injuries or falls. If you’re in the El Paso area and you’re considering total hip replacement surgery, contact Sun City Orthopaedic & Hand Surgery Specialists today.