Preparing for a total hip replacement often begins several weeks prior to
the actual surgery. Emphasis is placed upon the individual maintaining good physical health
before the operation.
If you decide to have hip replacement surgery, you may be asked to have a
complete physical examination by your primary care doctor before your surgical procedure. This
is needed to assess your health and identify conditions that can interfere with your surgery or
Several tests may be needed to help plan your surgery: Blood and urine
samples may be tested. Individuals with a history of recent or frequent urinary infections and
older men with prostate disease should consider a urological evaluation before surgery.
EKG - Provides information regarding the condition of the heart for surgery.
Chest x-ray - Provides information about the respiratory status of the individual.
Skin Infections Free-Your skin should not have any infections or irritations before surgery. If
either is present, contact your orthopaedic surgeon for a program to improve your skin before
A blood transfusion is often necessary after hip surgery. One option is
autotransfusion after surgery.You may be advised to donate your own blood prior to surgery. It
will be stored in the event you need blood after surgery.
Consult your orthopaedic surgeon about the medications you are taking. Your
orthopaedist will advise you which medications you should stop or can continue taking before
surgery.An anesthesiologist explains what types and options of anesthesia are available for hip
If you are overweight, your doctor may ask you to lose some weight before
surgery to minimize the stress on your new hip and possibly decrease the risks of surgery
Infections after hip replacement are not common, an infection can occur if
bacteria enter your bloodstream. Bacterial Infections can happen during dental procedures, you
should consider getting treatment for dental disease before your hip replacement surgery.
Routine cleaning of your teeth should be delayed for several weeks after surgery.
After the surgery you will be able to walk with crutches or a walker soon
after surgery, you will need some help for several weeks with such tasks as cooking, shopping,
bathing, and laundry. If you live alone you have to have some assistance at your home. A short
stay in an care facility may help you.
The following is a list planning that has to be done at home before surgery
so that it helps you in painless and quick recovery.
Raised toilet seat
Stable shower bench or chair for bathing
Long-handled sponge or shower hose
Reaching device that will allow you to grab objects without bending your hip
Secure handrails along all stairways.
You are required to use commode always.
Avoid sitting cross-legged.
Avoid sitting on surface lower than 18 inches.
Firm pillows to sit on that keep your knees lower than your hips
Securely fastened safety bars or handrails in your shower or bath
You may need a walking stick.
Avoid running, jogging and fast sports.
General anesthesia is most used for joint replacement surgeries but
sometimes regional anesthesia is also used. This depends on your doctor, on your overall health
and personal preference.
The damaged cartilage and bone is first removed. To remove the worn out ball
of the ball-and-socket hip joint, the bone is cut to remove the femoral head. In order to insert
a new joint, the damaged bone and cartilage must first be removed. Once the arthritic ball is
removed, the worn out socket can be addressed. Unlike the ball, this bone cannot be cut off --
the socket of the hip joint is part of the pelvis bone.
A reamer is used to scrape away the damaged cartilage and bone and a smooth,
perfectly rounded surface are got which accepts the new hip implant. Once the damaged bone has
been removed, the new socket of the hip replacement can be inserted. The socket of the pelvis is
called the acetabulum and the part of the hip replacement inserted into the socket is called the
acetabular component. The acetabular component is held tightly in the pelvis by making the
socket slightly smaller than the acetabular component and wedging the implant into the bone. The
implant has a rough surface to allow bone to grow into the surface of the implant over time.
Now that the socket has been addressed, attention can turn to the ball of
the ball-and-socket hip joint. The ball is supported with an implant inserted down the hollow
center of the thigh bone (femur). This implant is called the femoral stem.
For the femoral stem to be held tightly in the bone special tools are used
to shape the center of the thigh bone to accommodate the femoral stem. With the bone prepared,
the femoral stem is inserted and held in the bone with or without cement.
If bone cement is used, the cement is inserted in a liquid form and the stem
is then placed. The cement permanently hardens within a few minutes to hold the implant fixed
within the bone. When no cement is used, the implant is called "press-fit." This means that the
implant is wedged tightly into the bone. A rough surface covering the implant allows bone to
grow into the implant over time.
With the stem inserted down the center of the thigh bone, the ball of the
ball-and-socket hip joint can be inserted on top of the stem. A metal ball is tightly fit onto
the top of the stem.