6 Fast Facts About Hip Replacement

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Dec 102013

hip-replacementHip replacement surgery is a surgery that involves replacing all or part of the hip joint with parts that allow it to work better in the body. Do you think that getting hip replacement surgery is something that you will need in the future? Here are 6 fast facts about this surgery that you should know.

1. Osteoarthritis of the hip is the most common condition that is treated with hip replacement surgery.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that most commonly effects older people. Not to be confused with osteoporosis (a disease that affects the bones), osteoarthritis develops naturally from using your hips over years. More information on osteoarthritis can be found here.

2. Hip replacement surgery can relieve hip pain.
Hip pain can be very painful. This pain can make it hard to perform daily tasks like walking up and down stairs, gardening, cooking and even getting out of bed can be a painful activity. Before suggesting surgery, your doctor will probably recommend alternative treatment options that can also relieve pain. This alternative treatment can include walking with a cane or walker, taking medication or light exercises.

3. Hip replacement surgery is not for everyone.
Because of the risks that come with surgery, there are several health conditions that can affect whether or not you are a good candidate for the surgery. Some of the conditions that may prevent you from getting hip replacement surgery include having poor health, serious muscle weakness, and Parkinson’s disease. Having a low immune system can also affect your surgery candidacy, including those who are prone to catching infections or have problems fighting infections.

4. Hip replacement surgery is not risk-free.
While medical research has grown greatly over the years, it is important to remember that hip replacement surgery is still major surgery and should be approached seriously. Common risks include blood clots, infection and excessive bone growth in the hips. Many complications can arise, as seen here. However, modern surgery practices have greatly reduced the risk for complications and it is safer to recieve the surgery now than it has ever been before.

5. Physical therapy is necessary for recovery.
Shortly after having surgery, physical therapy will begin to ensure proper healing and to help your body to get used to having a replacement hip. Physical therapy will also help to ensure that your replacement hip has proper blood flow, flexibility and range of motion, making it easier to live with in your everyday life.

6. Healing time varies.
Because every body is different, the amount of time it takes for the body to heal after surgery can vary from person to person. Factors that can affect how fast you heal are what type of hip surgery you had, your overall health and what physical therapy activities you have been doing. Healing generally takes 3 to 6 months.

Independent exercise is also recommended. Only you will know what your body is fully comfortable with, however some common exercises that can be helpful after hip replacement surgery include bicycle riding (with a bike machine), cross-country skiing, and swimming. Even something as simple as taking a walk every day can have a tremendous effect on how your hip heals and how life with your new hip will be. Here are other activities that you can do after having hip replacement surgery.

While these fast facts are a good way to begin your research on hip replacement surgery, only a conversation with your doctor will help you to know for sure if hip replacement surgery is for you.