Also known as hip arthroplasty, complete hip replacement is quite a complex surgery. During this procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage in the hip are removed and replaced with prosthetic components.
Usually, the best candidates for this surgery are people with moderate to severe arthritis in the hip, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis, which causes severe pain and interferes with performing daily activities like walking, climbing the stairs, and bending to get in and out of a chair.
Luckily, complete hip replacement can be performed using a minimally invasive technique, but not all patients will qualify for it.
When the hip joint is replaced with a prosthesis, the patient will experience pain relief and improved mobility, which will allow the return to normal, everyday activities. The traditional surgical approach to complete hip replacement uses a long incision to permit the orthopedic surgeon to view and get access to the hip joint. However, there is a minimally invasive procedure in which the surgeon uses one or multiple smaller incisions or changes the place of the incision.
During complete hip replacement surgery, the damaged bone is cut and removed, and so are some soft tissues. In a minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon will make a tiny incision and cut or detach fewer muscles around the hip. Even though the two approaches are different, both traditional and minimally invasive complete hip replacement are demanding and complex procedures. For the patient to have a successful outcome and a lower risk of postoperative complications, their orthopedic surgeon must be very experienced and skilled.
Having a complete hip replacement yields the following benefits:
On average, complete hip replacement recovery can take 2 to 4 weeks. Most people are typically able to return to normal activities within 10 to 12 weeks. They will generally be able to walk the same day or the next day after the surgery. Still, full recovery may take 6 to 12 months. The pain usually goes away during this period, but some patients may continue to feel some pain or discomfort during the first year.