Hip replacements (Explained)

So you’re scheduled for an upcoming hip replacement. I’m excited to get you through this process and get you back to activity. A hip replacement is a procedure where we take the ball and socket joint and we replace them with metal and plastic. The procedure involves an overnight stay at the inpatient center whether that be at the hospital or here in the recovery suites. With that procedure there’s an incision on the outer corner of the buttock. I used what’s called a posterior approach. What that means is we go through the buttock muscle making an open slit through the muscle and we detach a couple of the rotation muscles. Those are reattached and closed with stitches at the end. This procedure is very successful.

No surgery is free of complications and I want you to be aware of the potentials of the surgery. Those typical problems after any surgery can be anesthetic complications, blood clots, nerve damage, hardware loosening, hardware failure, or even breaks in the bone around the implants. A dislocation is another specific problem that can happen with hip replacements. Each of these complications or problems has a series of treatment options, which of course we would go through with you if you unfortunately have one. But I want you to be aware that there are risks of surgery and that I’ll work with you through every step of the way if you develop one of those potential complications. The otherwise therapy process is immediate walking. We begin a blood thinner right away. We also give you an antibiotic for 24 hours. With all that we’re trying to prevent further complications.

The therapist will coach you on some restrictions for motion right after surgery so that we can avoid those complications as much as possible. Otherwise, I see you two to three weeks afterwards. At that time we check the incision, we progress your physical therapy, and the majority of the people even by four to six weeks are ecstatic about their hip replacement. It can take longer to recover. The tissues are still healing and evolving and changing for several months, but I anticipate that you’re going to love your new hip replacement.


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