Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hip Replacement

Hip Replacement

Hip replacement also known as arthroplasty is a surgical procedure in which new artificial man made parts replace the damaged parts of a person’s hip joint by a prosthetic implant. These surgeries are generally operated on people who have hip damage and cannot carry out their daily activities due to it. Hip replacement surgeries are normally resorted to by doctors when treatment and other medical alternatives have failed. The purpose of this surgery is to ensure improvement in hip functionality and pain relief in the person. The following are the most common causes of hip replacement surgeries:

 Osteoarthritis: This condition causes the degeneration of joints and its symptoms are mainly creaking, tenderness of joints, stiffness and locking of joints.

 Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is a condition where a chronic inflammation causes swelling and joint pain with stiffness.

 Osteonecrosis/ Avascular Necrosis: In this condition insufficient blood supply damages the bone.

 Bone Tumors and Injuries: These conditions damage the bone and hence a hip replacement surgery needs to be conducted on the person.

In the case of hip replacement surgeries a new joint, called prosthesis, is implanted into place so that the bone grows into it. The joint is usually made of plastic, metal or can be a combination of both metal and plastic. Doctors prefer cemented joints for older people whom have weak bones and uncemented joints for younger people who generally have stronger and better bone quality. A new joint lasts for 10 to 15 years and younger people who have hip replacement surgeries need further replacement later in their lives too.

During the hip replacement surgery the doctor generally administers anesthesia which may generally block only that part of the body that needs to be operated upon or it may make the whole body sleep. The affected joint is then replaced with prosthesis and the duration of the surgery usually depends upon the condition of the damaged joint. The patient is discharged after three to five days. If the patient is elderly then he or she may need to spend a longer period in an intermediate medical facility before being discharged. The time period depends upon the medical condition of the person and thus may differ from patient to patient.

A person can walk after the hip replacement surgery with a walker or a clutch. He or she may feel some pain as the muscles are not used to being used. Doctors generally treat this pain with medicines and it usually ends in a few weeks after the operation. Doctors also help the patient with physical therapy to help strengthen the body muscles and regain motion in the leg.

In order to make the hip replacement surgery a success the patient should follow the doctor’s advice when he finally reaches home. All the doctor’s instructions should be followed carefully and in case of any trouble or pain he or she should be consulted immediately. With correct food, medical habits and exercise hip replacement surgeries are a huge success and a person may rely on it without any kind of apprehension or fear.

The following links have been referred to while writing the above mentioned article: