Publish 21 June 2022
The Age of Hip Replacement
Stop believing that hip surgery is only for retirees. This outdated thinking was based on the limited duration of artificial hip joints. Comprised of ceramic, metal and hard plastic, prosthesis now last 20 years or longer. So better mobility is available to much younger patients.
Does hip aching interfere with your daily activities like walking or driving? Between the years 2000 and 2010, hip joint replacement surgery increased 200% within the 45–54 age group. Many patients can return to sports and most activities after a successful hip replacement.
Signs of Ideal Hip Replacement Candidate
Regardless of whether pain is chronic or acute, physicians and patients prefer medication over surgery. In many cases, this is sufficient. Ibuprofen reduces hip inflammation. Equipment such as walkers and crutches improve mobility.
Sometimes medication doesn’t relieve pain or has unpleasant side effects like dizziness and loss of appetite. If medication, physiotherapy, and exercise are not helping you with hip pain that restricts daily activities, consider surgery. Here are some signs that indicate you are an ideal candidate for a hip replacement surgery:
- Affects Routine Activities – When your routine life activities are compromised due to your hip joint pain and difficultly in movement, consider hip joint replacement.
- Pain in Resting State – In most cases, you may feel pain relief during rest. But when your hip joint pain persists during or after resting then you are an ideal candidate for hip replacement.
- Damaged Hip Joint – If your doctor tells you that your hip joint is broken, then consider a hip joint replacement because a damaged joint gets worse with time.
- Severe Arthritis – Arthritis is one of the leading causes of progressive hip joint damage. Severe arthritis like osteoarthritis or ankylosing spondylitis may already be causing severe damage to your hip joint. At this point, surgery is a viable option.
- Stiffness – When your hip is so stiff that it is hard to lift your leg, then hip joint replacement can provide long-lasting pain relief.
What to Expect
When you are ready to get your active life back, visit an orthopedics specialist for a consultation. If you are a candidate, you will be put on a schedule for surgery. With total hip replacement, both the head of the femur and its socket are replaced. Hip replacement surgery takes a few hours.
Before making any incisions, an anesthesiologist assisting your orthopedics surgeon will give you spinal anesthesia. This numbs the lower half of your body. The surgeon will make a cut on the side of your hip and remove the damaged part of your joint. Then, he will implant the prosthesis into your hip bone.
After the surgery, you will be under observation for one or two nights. During this time, healthcare staff monitors your recovery process, blood pressure, breathing rate, pain, and comfort level. They then implement measures to minimize the recovery period. After hospital discharge, physiotherapy can get you walking without assistive devices in as little as 2–3 weeks.
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