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Hip Replacement – Overview



“Hip replacement is one of the most successful procedures in the history of surgery. Every year, millions of people just like you enjoy the benefits of fantastic pain relief and the ability to get on with their lives again. The operation takes about an hour or so. The diseased hip is replaced with one made of titanium, stainless steel, ceramic, or plastic. It’s a wonderful operation. Within a few days, you’ll be going home and looking forward to getting on with your life again. Some surgeons use what’s called a minimally invasive approach to the hip. The idea of this is it’s supposed to cause less damage to the soft tissues. However, it’s not always straightforward because you can’t see exactly what you’re doing. For that reason, most hip surgeons will use an approach to the hip, which is suitable for you. They can adapt their technique according to your needs.

Some surgeons work in centers where the patient goes home on the same day of surgery. This isn’t something that I do, and it’s not commonly done in the UK, but of course, interest is growing in this sort of technique. Patients want to go home as soon as they can. It’s not suitable for everybody, but your surgeon will discuss with you whether or not this is possible. In your case, if you’ve got painful arthritis of the hip, then you might be a candidate for a hip replacement. So there are two main types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, or wear and tear, and inflammatory arthritis. This can affect all of the joints. The common symptoms of any type of arthritis are pain and stiffness. Your surgeon will make the diagnosis based on the clinical history, a physical examination, and investigations such as an X-ray or an MRI scan. You’ll then work out what the best treatment is for you.

If you’ve been told you’ve got osteoporosis or thin bones, don’t worry about that. Hip replacement surgery can still be done. Even in quite severe cases of osteoporosis, many people who are considering having their hips replaced have medical problems as well. Things like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or being overweight can affect the risks of surgery. Your surgeon will discuss those risks with you well in advance of the operation. Sometimes the surgery has to be postponed in order to optimize your conditions or maybe change your medication. This will all be discussed with you well in advance of the surgery.”

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