According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 285,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States. As one of the most successful types of operations in medicine, hip replacement surgery is an effective procedure to help those who suffer from the aches and pains of joint pain. The surgery successfully relieves pain, increases motion and enables people to get back to enjoying their everyday activities.
Also known as total hip arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery is most often the last resort for those who suffer from chronic joint pain. There are various reasons that physicians would recommend patients undergo total hip replacement surgery:
- Hip pain that limits everyday activities, such as walking or bending.
- Hip pain that continues while resting, either day or night.
- Stiffness in a hip that limits the ability to move or lift the leg.
- Inadequate pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or walking supports.
- Total Hip Replacement – a surgical procedure that alleviates pain from most types of hip arthritis and improves the quality of life for the large majority of patients who undergo the operation.
- Partial Hip Replacement – a surgical procedure where only the femoral head (the ball) of the damaged hip joint is replaced. The acetabulum (the socket) is not replaced.
The damaged femoral head is removed from the hip and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The femoral stem may be either cemented or "press fit" into the bone.
A metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem. This ball replaces the damaged femoral head that was removed.
The damaged cartilage surface of the socket (acetabulum) is removed and replaced with a metal socket. Screws or cement are sometimes used to hold the socket in place.
A plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.
Following the surgery, hospital stays usually last for 1 to 3 days. During this time, you will recover from the anesthesia, and from the surgery itself. After the first day recovering from surgery, you will be asked to start moving and walking around.
Most patients are able to go home directly after a short hospital stay. Patients going home will begin therapy at an outpatient physical therapy facility. If the discharge planner determines that home health services are needed, the hospital will arrange for this.
Some patients may need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home. The decision to go home or to a skilled nursing facility will be made collectively by you, the Joint Care Coordinator, your surgeon, physical therapist, and your insurance company. Every attempt will be made to have this decision finalized in advance but it may be delayed until the day of discharge. At a rehab center, you will learn how to safely do your daily activities on your own. Home health services are also available.
With the advances in technology, physicians are discovering new ways to improve the life span of artificial hip joints. People who have hip replacement surgery today may expect the artificial joint to last longer than joints replaced 10 to 20 years ago.
The Joint Replacement Center team strives to achieve best practices and to stay on the leading edge of joint replacement surgery. Practices that have proven especially effective are:s pre-surgery total joint replacement education classes, patient guidebooks, group physical therapy sessions, pain management programs, and rehab coaches.
As a result of our quality initiatives, our outcomes consistently exceed the national average. Our program is designed to offer patients a faster recovery, less pain and an overall excellent patient experience.
- Rapid recovery and transition back home.
- Drastically improved quality of life.
- Excellent patient experience.
- Low complication rates.
- Pain management.
- Patient and family-centered care.
- Advanced surgical procedures and technology.
Education plays an important role in achieving successful rehabilitation outcomes. Patients and their families attend joint replacement pre-op classes to help them understand what to expect during hip replacement surgery at the Joint Replacement Center. The educational classes will go over the importance of immediately beginning joint replacement therapy as soon as the day of or day after surgery. The education doesn’t stop there, it continues into the therapy and post-operative sessions to teach patients what they need to do to recover and how family and friends can help them get back to their daily activities.
Our specially trained joint replacement coordinators, or navigators, will guide you each step of the way during your hip replacement surgery. The joint replacement coordinator acts as your personal “nurse navigator,” and will steer the way pre and post-surgical procedures.
Group settings are another key component of the Joint Replacement Center that sets it apart from a typical hospital visit. Since the experience at the Joint Replacement Center is unlike the traditional hospital setting it is important for patients to know what to expect in terms of resources and therapy groups.
After surgery, you will have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to make sure your hip is healing properly. If recovery is progressing well, most people resume their normal activities by this time — even if in a limited fashion.
See more information about follow-up care in the Patient Guidebooks for Hip Replacement Surgery below
Preparation, education, continuity of care, and a pre-planned discharge are essential for optimum results in total hip replacement surgery. The Guidebook is a communication tool for patients, physicians, physical and occupational therapists, and nurses. It is designed to educate you so that you know:
- What to expect every step of the way.
- What you need to do to prepare for surgery.
- How to care for your new joint.
Guidebooks for Hip Replacements
Remember, this is just a guide. Your physician, physician assistant, nurses, or therapist may add to or change any of the recommendations.