Procedure and Complications of Total Hip Replacement
Posted On: March 19, 2020
Brief About Total Hip Replacement
Total hip replacement surgery is done to replace a damaged or worn-out hip joint. In this operation, the surgeon replaces the natural joint with an artificial one, known as prosthesis. Some people, specifically in the old age, experience immense discomfort and pain in their hip joints. The reason could be hip fracture or arthritis. In such cases, the patient is not able to perform even the easiest tasks like walking, standing up from or sitting in a chair, tying their shoelaces, etc. They may not even sleep properly due to the pain. A traumatic injury also causes hip pain, which requires immediate medical attention.
Who Is A Candidate For Total Hip Replacement?
People of every age group and weight range are eligible for total hip replacement. The recommendation for this surgery is based on the patient’s disability and pain and not their age. Generally, people who are between 50-80 years old undergo total hip replacement. However, total hip replacements, over time, have been successfully performed on patients who are young teenagers to those who suffer from arthritis. So, it is suitable for all. You may have been recommended this surgery by the doctor due to several reasons, which are mentioned below
- Hip pain that limits daily activities like bending or walking.
- Stiffness in the hip limits one’s ability to lift or move their leg.
- Hip pain that causes discomfort when you are resting at night or the day.
- Physical therapy, walking supports, and anti-inflammatory drugs are not relieving pain adequately.
What Are Total Hip Replacement Complications?
The total hip joint replacement complication rate is very low. If the patient is suffering from chronic illness, the chances of getting a complication increase. However, in general cases without any complication, the likelihood of getting a joint infection is as low as 2% while conditions like stroke or heart attack are even less. Below are some of the conditions that can limit or prolong full recovery.
- Blood clots in pelvis or leg veins.
- Over time, hip prosthesis may loosen or wear out.
- Infection may happen in the wound or near the prosthesis.
- Dislocation, or the situation where the ball shifts and comes out of its socket.
- Stiffness, bleeding, fracture, and blood vessel and nerve injury are other complications.
- Extremely rare cases include leg length inequality, meaning one leg is longer than the other one due to the surgery.
What Preparation Is Needed For The Procedure?
Before performing the surgery, your doctor will conduct several tests and a complete physical examination to ensure you are healthy enough for the surgery as well as for the recovery process. There are several preparations that the surgeon may ask you to do, which are listed below.
- Various tests like urine and blood samples, chest x-rays, and EKG (electrocardiogram) may be taken to plan the surgery.
- The patient may be asked to donate their own blood in case of an emergency after the surgery.
- If the patient has any irritation or infection on their skin before the surgery, the surgeon may choose to treat that first.
- Patients who are overweight are advised to lose weight so that they do not stress their new hip joint after the surgery.
- If the patient is taking any medications, the surgeon may ask to stop taking some to eliminate any complications due to the drug.
- Stopping and delaying all the dental treatments are recommended because, through these procedures, bacteria may enter the bloodstream causing further medical complications.
- Apart from these, preparing your home as per the requirements before the surgery is advisable. You can even stay in the extended care facility for a short period after your surgery to ensure proper recovery.
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