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Total Hip Replacement (cont.)

IN THIS ARTICLE

Total Hip Replacement Preparation

  • Talk to someone who has undergone hip replacement surgery to become familiar with the procedure and the recovery period.
  • Your doctor will evaluate your overall health to ensure that you are well enough to safely withstand the surgery. Any unstable medical conditions or infections must be treated before surgery.
  • Allow time to rest after the operation and find people to help with your care and daily activities for the first few weeks.
  • Because you may need blood transfusions during the operation or recovery period, you may want to donate some of your own blood before the procedure to be given back to you.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Follow any other instructions your doctor gives you.

During the Total Hip Replacement Procedure

  • You will arrive at the hospital usually on the day of surgery.
  • An anesthesiologist will meet with you to discuss various options for anesthesia.
    • You may have general anesthesia, in which you will be completely unconscious.
    • You may have regional anesthesia that will numb you from the waist down and keep you moderately sedated.
  • The surgeon will expose your hip joint and dislocate the ball from the socket.
    • The doctor removes the head from the femur (thighbone) and reams away the surface of the socket.
    • The doctor secures in place a prosthetic cup (socket) made of polyethylene.
    • The surgeon then secures a metal head (ball) and stem into the femur either by a press fit or with bone cement.
    • The doctor places the ball into the cup and takes your new hip through a range of motion to ensure proper stability and mobility.
    • The surgeon closes your incision, and you are brought to the recovery room.

After the Total Hip Replacement Procedure

You will stay in the hospital for four to seven days.

  • The first night you will be confined to bed with a wedge-shaped pillow between your legs to keep the new hip joint in place.
  • A tube placed in the new hip joint during surgery to drain any fluid or blood likely will be removed the next day.
  • If you are having trouble urinating, another tube likely will be placed in your bladder.
  • Normally you will begin physical therapy the day after surgery, and within days you can walk with a walker, cane, or crutches.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/11/2016

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