When the hip joint is damaged from an injury, arthritis or disease, it can cause chronic pain and limited mobility. With severe hip dysfunction, the pain can restrict movement and even be present when lying down or sitting. At Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians, we understand the intricate components required for healthy hip joint function. Our orthopedic specialists offer advanced treatment options to restore mobility and reduce pain in the hip joint, including hip replacement surgery.
The hip joint is essential for walking, running, jumping and all leg movement. This large ball-and-socket joint allows the leg to swing forward, sideways and backward, containing the femoral head (the ball on the top of the femur) and the acetabulum (the socket part of the pelvic bone). Injury, deformation, disease and other factors can impact the hip joint’s function. When too much friction occurs due to bone deformities or the loss of cartilage, the hip joint becomes painful and stiff.
Conservative treatments may help relieve hip joint pain and improve the range of motion. Injection therapy, physical therapy, medication management and minimally-invasive surgeries are some of the treatments we offer for patients with chronic hip pain or limited joint mobility. However, when less invasive treatments are no longer effective in controlling hip pain, replacing the joint can be a solution we offer to our patients.
An artificial hip joint contains a metal alloy or ceramic ball and metal stem that is connected to the femur to replace the femoral head. It also will have a socket component that is attached to the pelvic bone that is made from metal, plastic or ceramic. There are many different kinds of artificial hip joints. The right one is dependent on the patient’s needs, medical history and other factors.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Hip Joint Replacement?
Any joint replacement has risks and should not be considered unless other treatments are not effective. However, hip replacement surgery can be very successful for relieving chronic pain and improving mobility for some patients. Most hip replacement surgery patients are older, usually between 50 and 80. However, age is not main factor when determining whether a patient is a good candidate. Some of the considerations when discussing if hip replacement surgery is right for a patient include:
- The level of pain performing daily activities
- If there is pain while resting
- If the patient is no longer obtaining relief with other treatments
- Stiffness in the hip joint
- Range of motion
While it may not disqualify a patient, the weight of the patient is considered. The weight load on the hip joint can affect the longevity of the device. Other health factors also are considered. It is vital that patients are healthy enough for surgery and free from infection before any hip replacement surgery is considered.
Expectations After Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery is completed in a few hours and requires a hospital stay. The length of stay depends on the recovery process of the patient but is usually two to three days. Physical therapy is vital to recovery after surgery and regaining mobility. When post-operative instructions and therapy are followed, many patients can participate in basic daily activities within six weeks. If they continue to improve, patients may have full recovery in six months. Results are different for every patient. They depend on the patient’s health, participation in therapy and if there are any complications.
If you struggle with chronic hip pain and limited mobility, you deserve a treatment option that will improve your quality of life. Contact our orthopedic team at Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians to discuss your treatment options, including hip replacement surgery.