Total Hip Replacement

The hip is one of the largest joints in your body–which means that when it’s damaged or diseased, you feel it. Whether caused by osteoarthritis or injury, hip pain can be debilitating and negatively impact your mobility. For some patients, hip pain can make it impossible to do everyday tasks like go to the grocery store, walk around your home, or even spend time with your grandkids.

When the damage to your hip can no longer be treated with medication, you may need a procedure called a total hip replacement. This surgical procedure removes part of your hip joint and replaces it with a long-lasting prosthetic joint.

Once your recovery is complete, you’ll likely be able to engage in most normal everyday activities. Dr. Leupold and Dr. Rierson both have a long history of successfully helping patients minimize their pain and improve their mobility with a total hip replacement procedure.

Who is Hip Replacement Surgery a Good Fit For?

Hip replacement surgery may be a good fit for you if you:

  • Experience significant hip pain that makes it hard to do simple tasks or prevents you from walking and bending.
  • Notice your hip pain even while you’re resting or when you’re inactive at night.
  • Experience stiffness that can make it difficult to get around.
  • Have tried physical therapy, pain management, and medication in an attempt to find relief–but none of it seems to work.

Dr. Leupold or Dr. Rierson will perform a physical exam as well as diagnostic imaging to make sure the source of your pain can be mitigated by surgical replacement. They’ll be looking for signs of osteoarthritis or injury.

What Happens During a Total Hip Replacement?

A total hip replacement is a significant surgical procedure. However, an overnight hospital stay is not always needed. In fact, for most patients, a total hip replacement is typically performed on an outpatient basis, but often includes an overnight stay in a hospital. 

The hip replacement surgery is most often performed under spinal anesthesia and takes a little over an hour to perform. During the procedure, your surgeon will:

  • Make an incision along your hip.
  • Remove a portion of your upper femur as well as any of the diseased cartilage present in the joint.
  • Once the femur is removed, a prosthetic “cap” will be placed on top of the bone (this cap will be fit into the hollow of your femur).
  • The cartilage of the socket is removed and replaced with a synthetic socket.
  • The synthetic pieces are secured in place using screws or surgical cement.
  • A spacer is placed to ensure smooth movement.
  • The incision is closed using staples or sutures, depending on the patient.

Once the incision is closed and the procedure is complete, you’ll be moved to a recovery space. Here, your surgeon will make sure that there’s no immediate complications and your physical therapist will get you on your feet and show you how to move.

Recovery from Total Hip Replacement

Every patient receives personalized recovery instructions. Following these instructions will give you the best chance to achieve the best possible outcome from your total hip replacement surgery. 

It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise is critically important to your recovery. During the first three weeks of your recovery period, a physical therapist will help you exercise in a way that promotes healing and improved range of motion. Most patients can expect to return to normal, light activities between 3-6 months after your procedure. (Ask your surgeon before engaging in more intense activities, such as running.)

Your surgeon will provide you with information that will help you detect the early signs of infection or blood clots, as well as what to do in case of a hip dislocation.

In general, most patients will recover the vast majority of their hip mobility and flexibility once the procedure is complete.

If you have questions about how total hip replacement, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leupold or Dr. Rierson! It’s time to stop living in pain–and get back to the activities you enjoy and love.