The thigh bone (femur) runs from the knee to the hip, with a ball-shaped head that fits neatly into the hip socket (acetabulum), forming the hip joint.
These bones are covered by hard cartilage, which cushions the bones when you move. If the cartilage wears away, bones can rub against each other, causing the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis.
If arthritis is limiting your everyday activities and you can’t manage your hip pain with medications, cortisone injections, or physical therapy, a hip replacement might be an option.
Total Hip Replacement
A hip replacement (arthroplasty) replaces the entire joint with a metal insert. Replacements for the thigh bone and the hip socket are custom-fit into the bone, and the procedure is done without cement if the bone is healthy enough.
This surgery can be done inpatient (with a one-night hospital stay) or outpatient, at our Ambulatory Surgical Center, depending upon your health, medical history, insurance, and available help at home. Some individuals may choose to go to a skilled nursing facility for a short time after surgery if they need additional assistance or returning home is unsafe.
Caring for yourself after a hip replacement can be easier if you have extra help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. If you’re having a hip replacement, talking with our joint coordinator can help alleviate post-surgery concerns.
More About Hip Replacements
Stevens Point Orthopedics believes the most successful hip replacements are done by skilled surgeons with training and experience – not machines or robots.
As part of our holistic approach to hip replacements, expect to work with a physical therapist the same day of surgery. Although it can take up to a year, most patients who undergo total hip replacement surgery feel much better than they did pre-surgery.
Hip replacement is the most successful orthopedic surgery. It lets you move your hip more easily and without pain, making everyday tasks enjoyable again. Most people are able to get back to daily activities in about three months.
Hip Replacement Techniques
Stevens Point Orthopedics’ surgeons are trained in two different hip-replacement techniques. The most common is the posterior approach.
In this surgery, an incision is made on the back and side of your hip. The muscles on the side of your hip are separated, and the smaller muscles that rotate the hip are detached to access the hip in a nerve-free location. Your surgeon replaces the ball of your thighbone with one made of surgical metal and replaces the damaged cartilage of the acetabular socket with a surgical metal cup.
For the first six weeks after a posterior hip replacement surgery, you must abide by three hip precautions:
- Not bending your hip past 90 degrees.
- Not crossing your legs.
- Not turning your operated leg inward in a pigeon-toed position.
Another method of hip replacement is the anterior approach, which promises better visualization of the acetabular socket for the surgeon during surgery and and does not require patients to abide by any hip precautions after surgery.
There’s no difference in long-term outcomes with an anterior versus a posterior approach. Both have long track records of patient success. However, with an anterior approach there’s a slightly increased risk of fracture.
Talking to your physician will help you determine which approach is right for you and your specific hip condition.