How Partial Hip Replacement Surgery Is Effective
Pain in the hip can come on suddenly or be a gradual progression.
A fall or injury can cause damage, or arthritis can begin a process of degeneration of the joints.
If the entire hip is partially damaged, a partial hip replacement surgery may be recommended instead of a total hip replacement.
What is replaced
A Partial hip replacement surgery involves substituting a prosthesis for the ball or femoral head of the hip joint without replacing the hip socket, or acetabulum.
A doctor may choose this method when the remainder of the hip is still healthy and not affected by joint damage. This can be the case when the femur is worn from arthritis or a sports injury damages only a part of the hip.
The most common artificial joint used in a partial hip replacement is made of ceramic or metal. Called a bipolar prosthesis, the replacement allows a range of motion to ease hip movement.
Sometimes the bipolar prosthesis is recommended as a transition, before the patient needs a total hip replacement.
After partial hip replacement surgery, the artificial joint usually allows a patient to walk again without pain.
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What to expect from surgery
The procedure takes several hours under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision in the side of the hip from which he will remove the damaged or diseased femur bone.
Time in the hospital following partial or bipolar hip replacement surgery is about three to five days. Immediately following the procedure, or as soon as possible, the patient is encouraged to stand and walk with assistance.
To prevent blood clots, the doctor will want the patient to wear compression stockings in the hospital and for a period while at home.
Sessions with a physical therapist are usually initiated the day following surgery. This helps build back leg muscle and restores range of motion.
For best results, the physical therapy is accomplished within the first few weeks following the procedure.
This keeps the risk of dislocating the new joint to a minimum and ensures the patient can resume climbing stairs and doing other regular activities.
Pain and complications should be kept to a minimum with the blood thinning medication and pain relievers the doctor orders. Over time pain will subside, especially as the body heals.
Recuperation from partial hip replacement surgery will take about one month, but also depends on the person’s health. In addition to this, how well they are able to follow the doctor’s instructions.
There are specific exercises the person can do at home to help with the healing process. It is normal to use a cane or a walker for a period until total recovery is accomplished.