Hip replacement surgery uses metal, ceramic, or plastic parts to replace the ball at the upper end of the thigh bone (femur). This surgery also smooths the hip socket in the pelvic bone. Your doctor will make a 15- to 25-centimetre cut on the side of your hip to do this. This cut is called an incision. The surgery can also be done with one or two smaller incisions. The incisions in both types of surgery leave scars that will fade with time.
You will likely stay in the hospital for 2 to 7 days after your surgery. Your rehabilitation program (rehab) starts when you are still in the hospital. You will do rehab for 6 months or more. It takes at least 3 months to return to full activity. This will depend on your condition and rehab program. Most people can go back to work in 4 weeks to 4 months. This depends on your condition and the type of job you have.
After surgery and rehab, you likely will have much less pain than before the surgery. You should be able to return to your normal routine. Your doctor may suggest that you avoid heavy activities, such as playing tennis or jogging. He or she may tell you not to do things where a fall may happen. For example, don't ride a horse or go skiing. You may have to take antibiotics before you have dental work or a medical procedure. This helps reduce the chance that your new hip will become infected. Always tell your caregivers that you have an artificial hip.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MPH - Rheumatology
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