A total hip replacement (THR) is now a long-established procedure which has been refined many times, since its introduction to modern medicine in the 1960s. A THR can be the result of a number of issues with the hip, the most common of these is osteoarthritis. This is essentially a wearing down of the joints surfaces around the hip joint. Usually a person will try and manage their pain and function through physiotherapy and exercise for as long as they can, before deciding to opt for surgery.
The procedure itself involves the removal of the damaged hip, and replacing it with a new “ball and socket”. The is most commonly achieved by the surgeon making an incision into the side of the hip, cutting through the gluteal muscles. After removing the damaged humeral head (ball) and cleaning out the acetabulum (socket), the new hip joint is inserted. There are a number of variations to the procedure, in terms of what type of prosthesis is used. This is something your consultant will discuss with you before the surgery.
Recovery from the procedure is often much quicker than people anticipate. It can often mean that you will take your first few steps on the day of the procedure, or the following day at the latest. Crutches are generally used for 4-6 weeks, depending on the individuals balance and falls risk. A chartered physiotherapist will guide you through your initial set of exercises, before you are discharged to community physiotherapy. Getting your hip joint moving and strengthening all the muscles around the hip will be vital to regaining a high level of function. This takes time and effort and it is crucially that people commit to the rehabilitation process, which can take many months to complete.
We can help you with your recovery here at Personal Health.