Hip Replacement

Surgical treatment for a damaged hip

Last modified: December 21, 2011

Beatrice Woods
Licensed Practical Nurse

Hip Replacement Defined

A hip replacement is a surgical procedure removing diseased or damaged hip joint and cartilage replacing it with an artificial version. The majority of implanted hip joints are made of metal and plastic. The orthopedic surgeon will determine the design and size of the artificial hip, which is designed to operate like a natural, healthy hip joint.

A Good Candidate For Hip Replacement

A large number of people suffer from hip pain every day. Hip pain can be caused by a number of different reasons including arthritis, trauma to the hip, and old age. For some, hip pain is made bearable with use of medication and minor adjustments to daily activities. On the other hand, people with chronic hip pain and disability may be a good candidate for hip replacement surgery.

Hip Replacement Procedure

Before the hip replacement procedure, patients will be given general or spinal anesthesia so patients won’t feel any pain. Using a sterile technique, the orthopedic surgeon makes an incision into the muscle uncovering the hip joint; all damaged hip joint and cartilage are removed. The artificial hip and joint are implanted into healthy portions of the pelvis and thighbone. A special bone cement may be used to attach the replacement joint to the bone. Once the orthopedic surgeon is content with the fit and mobility of the new hip joint, the incision is closed with sutures and covered with a bandage.

Recovering From Hip Replacement

After hip replacement surgery, physical activity is mandatory for recovery. It is best for patients recovering from hip replacement to avoid activities that may cause the ball joint to pop out of place. Patients should be able to resume normal daily activities within three weeks. Six to eight weeks is the usual time frame to regain total hip movement, but this will vary from person to person. 

Cost Of Hip Replacement

There are various factors that contribute to the cost of a hip replacement, which include the patient’s age, the location of the hospital, and the type of health insurance involved. To find out more about the cost of hip replacement, contact an orthopedic surgeon.

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