Hip replacement surgery or arthroplasty is a surgery conducted to remove a painful hip joint that has been affected by arthritis.
The removed joint is then replaced with artificial components to relieve you from feeling pain making walking easier.
Some of the common artificial components used during hip replacement surgery include:
- Acetabular component: is a bowl shaped or cup shaped socket made of metal that is inserted into your resurfaced socket.
- Plastic liner: also known as Acetabular liner is made of plastic and fits into the acetabular component.
- Femoral head: is ball shaped artificial component made of either plastic, metal or ceramic materials that fits into plastic liner and is attached to the femoral stem.
- The femoral stem: replaces your femur and attaches to the femoral head(ball). The femoral stem is made in away that it allows natural bone to grow.
A picture of hip replacement surgery
Hip replacement surgery can be performed using two ways; anterior which is also referred as Minimally Invasive Technique and posterior where no muscles are cut to access the hip joint.
If you are suffering from the following conditions listed below then you are a suitable candidates for hip replacement surgery:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Avascular necrosis
- Bone tumors
- Traumatic arthritis
- Protrusion acetabular
- Certain hip fractures
- Benign and malignant bone tumors
- Arthritis associated with Paget’s disease
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Types of hip surgeries
There are different types of hip resurfacing that can be performed to treat your condition.
The type used depends on the condition you are being treated. Below are some of the common types of hip replacement surgeries performed.
Metal-on-metal hip replacement
The surgeon conducts this type of hip replacement by fitting a hollow metal cap over the thigh bone’s head.
The surgeon then resurfaces the joint socket using a metal component.
The advantage of the metal-on-metal procedure is that, it may allow the patient to enjoy physical activities with lower chances of dislocation.
Total hip replacement surgery
Total hip replacement (total hip arthroplasty) surgery involves removing of the femur (thigh bone) together with the ball of the femur. Your surgeon then uses a smaller ball to replace the old one, and attaches it to the remaining femur.
A doctor can either use acrylic cement or roughen the surfaces of the implants to attach the socket and ball.
To make it easier for the new ball component to fit (articulate) into the remaining part of the joint, he or she makes the surface of the existing socket rough.
The advantage of using the second option is that, it encourages the bone to grow. As long as the bones are strong and healthy, they can continue renewing themselves naturally, even after the surgery.
Hip replacement surgery procedure
Video of Hip Replacement Surgery
Below is a video by YouTube channel TriStarHealth showing how a hip replacement surgery procedure is performed.
There are two options of carrying out hip replacement surgery. There’s a choice to use a minimally invasive procedure; then there’s the invasive traditional approach.
The size of the incision determines whether the surgery is invasive or not. To prevent pain during the operation, the surgical team injects you with anesthesia to relax the muscles and induce temporary sleep.
Next, the surgeon makes an incision on the hip and then exposes the hip joint by moving the connecting muscles. Using a surgical saw, the doctor then cuts off the ball of the joint.
After that, the surgeon removes the damaged cartilage to prepare the hipbone for attachment to the new socket. He/she will then attach the new ball part to the socket and then inserts a drain pipe.
How long the surgery takes depends on the type of surgery conducted and the condition being treated.
Unless a complication arises hip replacement and knee replacement surgery take 2 or less hours to be done.
What is the Cost for Hip Replacement Surgery?
Typically, the cost of hip replacement surgeries varies from one patient to another, the type of replacement performed or the condition being treated.
However, most prices quoted only include the procedure and hospitalization. The artificial components( prosthesis) used, hip replacement rehab charges are paid for separately by a patient.
Hip replacement surgery cost without insurance ranges anywhere between $30,000 to $1120,000. While when covered by insurance, a patient will only to pay for out of pocket expenses, which are usually around the $3000 range.
Some clinics however, have packages that are discounted and include;
- Consultation with an orthopedist Fee
- The surgery fee
- Meals and the transfer to/from an airport.
Hip Replacement Recovery: What to Expect
What’s the Recovery Time for hip replacement surgery?
Recovery time after surgery takes about one to six months. Patients can go home after three days.
Before you are discharged, you will be given instructions to help you recover quickly. Make sure you follow them to the latter.
Between four to six months, the patient can do away with walking crutches and can also start getting off strong pain medications.
You will begin physical therapy a day after surgery. During this time, your physical therapist will show you gentle exercises to help you regain motion in the joints.
Long-term recovery is when all the surgical wounds heal, and the patient starts feeling great. This period is usually around the six-month mark.
Benefits and risks of hip replacement surgery
Just like any other surgery, hip replacement comes with benefits and risks.
Below are some of the benefits and risks you may encounter during and after hip replacement surgery.
- Helping in the reduction of debilitating hip pain
- Giving the patient the ability to perform physical activities like walking
Risks of Hip replacement surgery
- Blood clots: the doctor can prescribe blood-thinning medication to avoid the clots
- Fractures: small fractures heal by themselves while bigger ones need a doctor’s attention
- Infection: antibiotics can help treat minor infections, but bigger ones may require surgery
- Dislocation: certain positions can help avoid dislocations. If the problems occur, the doctor can brace the hip into place
- Loosening: this issue is rare, but surgery can fix it
People that opt for hip replacement surgery not only improve the quality of their lives but also live longer.
A study by Peter Cnudde, MD, and colleagues proves that people who undergo elective hip replacement surgery have a higher life expectancy, compared to their age mates.
It is paramount that only a certified and qualified hip replacement surgeon conducts the procedure.
Otherwise, the results could be worse than what the patient was going through before the procedure.
- Do Patients Live Longer After THA and Is the Relative Survival Diagnosis-specific? (2018) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6263594/
- Hip replacement overview (2018) https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hip-replacement/about/pac-20385042
- Arthritis and Hip Replacement Surgery (2018) https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/hip-replacement-surgery#1
- How long does it take to recover from total hip replacement surgery?(n.d) https://lincolnpark-manor.com/portals/0/how-long-does-it-take-to-recover-from-total-hip-replacement-surgery.pdf
- Hip Replacement Surgery(n.d) https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/treatments/surgery/hip-replacement-surgery/