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OAS Health Blog

Total Hip Replacement

November 22, 2013

How will I know I need a total hip replacement? This is a question frequently asked by patients having hip pain. With close to 500,000 hip replacements being preformed a year, patients are frequently looking for this type of procedure to cure their hip pain.

Evaluation with examination, x-ray and laboratory findings often lead to a diagnosis other than arthritis of the hip. When the diagnosis of hip arthritis is made the decision for operative treatment is made on the basis of the patient's symptoms and limitations of activities along with the physician's decision that further conservative means of treatment would not be successful.

The hip joint is one of the bodies largest weight bearing joints, and it is a ball and socket type joint. This allows the hip to remain stable during extremes of motion. A patient with a healthy hip joint is able to squat turn and walk without pain. When the hip joint is damaged by arthritis it is likely to be painful during motion and sometimes even just standing still. Total hip replacement is one of the more successful orthopedic operations that can be life altering for the better.

Surgical approach to the procedure is the surgeon's choice, and the most preferred currently is described as a posterior approach. Although in certain patients an anterior approach is more appropriate and is being performed more often. The choice of prostheses are many and are individualized for each patient based on age and level of activity. Many patients are able to be discharged home 3 days after surgery, to continue rehabilitation. It is not unusual for patients to return to their prior level of activity by 3-4 weeks after surgery.

In my experience over the years with this procedure the patient's satisfaction can only be matched by my satisfaction in seeing them return to a more comfortable and pleasurable life.

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