Orthopedics

Hip Replacement (THP)

Description

Hip replacement total or unilatral is a surgical process where a damaged hip cartilage or hip joint is replaced with artificial material known as prosthesis. HP is one of the best treatment options to cure degenerative arthritis or osteroarthiritis. It is most commonly used for failure of the hip joint, curing malignant or benign bone tumors, avascular necrosis along with any other arthritis associated disease. The main aim of the procedure is to provide relief from pain and also improve the functionality of the hip.

People who are older, have any congenital abnormality of the hip joint or any other condition that progressively worsens the arthritis in the hip joint. People with bone fractures of the hip joint, rheumatoid arthritis or death of the hip joint also need total hip replacement.

Hip joint failure can cause intense chronic pain and reduce the patient’s daily function such as walking, sitting, climbing stairs, etc. This is where total hip replacement can help the person. However, deciding whether the patient needs the treatment or not is certainly not an easy decision to make as the replaced hip joints will fail with time. The replacement is only considered when the pain becomes intensely severe and affects the normal life despite using pain medications. The surgery is often considered as an alternative option after understanding the risks and benefits.

During the procedure, the damaged femoral head is replaced with metal stem, which is placed into the femur.

A metal ball is then placed over the stem, which replaces the femoral head.

The acetabulum is also replaced with metal socket, sometimes held with the help of cement and screws.

At the end, a ceramic or metal spacer is inserted between the socket and new ball for a smooth gliding surface.

Complications

Hip replacement surgery have similar complications that one may experience in any other joint replacements. These complications are

  • Vein thrombosis
  • Dislocation
  • Fracture
  • Osteolysis
  • Infection
  • Loosening
  • Metal sensitivity
  • Chronic pain
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve palsy
  • Death

Post operative care

The patient will need to use supportive devices recommended by the physician or the therapist. After some time, the patient will no longer need these devices once, he or she develops confidence.

Certain medications will be given to prevent blood clots.

Pain relief medications may also be given for muscle relaxation and to sleep.

The doctor will advise the patient to look for signs of infection, redness, swelling or increased pain, to which, he/she needs to notify the doctor at once.

The surgical site will be inspected regularly to see if the replacements are functioning well.

The patient will be restricted from running or in performing any other physical activity that can reinjure the site. Swimming however can help relax the muscle and increase their strength, endurance and mobility.