At the hospital, your temperature, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure will be checked.
An IV (intravenous) line may be started to provide fluids and medications needed during surgery.
Hip replacement surgery procedure.
When your surgeon and the rest of the surgical team are ready, you’ll be taken to the operating room. There you’ll be given anesthesia. The anesthesia will help you sleep through your hip replacement surgery, or it will make you numb from the waist down. Then an incision is made, giving the surgeon access to your hip joint. The damaged ball is removed, and the socket is prepared to hold the prosthesis. After the new joint is in place, the incision is closed with staples or stitches.
Preparing the bone.
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball is cut from the thighbone, and the surface of the old socket is smoothed. Then the new socket is put into the pelvis. The socket is usually press-fit and may be held in place with screws. A press-fit prosthesis has tiny pores on its surface that your bone will grow into. Cement or press-fit may be used to hold the ball-and-stem portion of the total hip replacement.
Joining the new parts.
The new hip stem is inserted into the head of your thighbone. After the stem is secure in the thighbone, the new ball and socket are joined. The stem of the prosthesis may be held with cement or press-fit. Your surgeon will choose the method that is best for you.
After your surgery.
After your hip replacement surgery, you’ll be sent to the PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit). When you are fully awake, you’ll be moved to your room. The nurses will give you medications to ease your pain. You may have a catheter (small tube) in your bladder and a drain in your hip. To keep your new joint stable, a foam wedge or pillows may be placed between your legs. In some cases, a brace is used. An SCM (Sequential Compression Machine) may be used to prevent blood clots by gently squeezing then releasing your legs. You may be given medication to prevent blood clots.
Soon, our skilled Joint University orthopedic team will help you get up and moving. They know precisely what they’re doing and how to help you recover, heal, and get back to life in the fastest, safest way possible. You may also have physical therapy or occupational therapy after your hip replacement surgery. This will be coordinated by your Joint University team.
After total hip replacement surgery, you will probably be hospitalized for one-to-three days. Recovery time varies following hip replacement surgery, but most people are able to drive after two weeks, garden after three-to-four weeks, and golf after six-to-eight weeks. Your hip doctor will tell you which activities you can return to, and when, and which activities you’ll need to avoid.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, hip replacement surgery carries possible risks and complications. These include the following:
- Reaction to the anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Dislocation of the joint or loosening of the prosthesis
- Wearing out the prosthetic
- Damage to nearby blood vessels, bones, or nerves
- Thigh pain