After having a hip replacement, you may expect your lifestyle to be a lot like how it was before surgery—but without the pain. In many ways, you are right, but returning to your everyday activities will take time. Being an active participant in the healing process can help you get there sooner and ensure a more successful outcome.
Joint Replacement Types
Activities After Hip Replacement
Common Question About Total Hip Replacement
The first step when making the decision about hip replacement is to meet with your surgeon to see if you are a candidate for total hip replacement surgery. Your surgeon will take your medical history, perform a physical examination and X-ray your hip. Even if the pain is significant, and the X-rays show advanced arthritis of the joint, the first line of treatment is nearly always non-operative. This includes weight loss if appropriate, an exercise regimen, medication, injections, or bracing. If the symptoms persist despite these measures, and with corroborating X-rays, then you may consider surgery.
Common Questions About Total Knee Replacement
The first step when making the decision about knee replacement is to meet with your surgeon to see if you are a candidate for total knee replacement surgery. Your surgeon will take your medical history, perform a physical examination, and X-ray your knee. Even if the pain is significant, and the X-rays show advanced arthritis of the joint, the first line of treatment is nearly always non-operative. This includes weight loss if appropriate, an exercise regimen, medication, injections, or bracing. If the symptoms persist despite these measures, then you could consider surgery.
Computers have been assisting surgeons in the operating room since the 1980s. Today approximately 7% of all joint replacement surgeries are completed with the aid of computer navigation technology. Similar to the GPS in your car, these devices guide surgeons to precisely position the components of a hip or knee replacement. These tools can help surgeons decide what thickness of bone to remove and how to improve limb alignment. In theory, a well-balanced and properly aligned joint replacement should, like your new car tires, last longer if in acceptable alignment. The number of joint replacements done with this technology may grow over the next decade as it continues to improve.
Full Versus Partial Knee Replacements
While it may seem appealing to have half of a surgery compared to a full surgery, it is important to understand the differences between a unicompartmental (partial) and a total knee replacement surgery. Each type of knee replacement surgery is unique and has its own outcomes after surgery.
Patients with advanced arthritis of the hip may be candidates for either traditional total hip replacement (arthroplasty) or hip resurfacing (hip resurfacing arthroplasty). Each of these procedures is a type of hip replacement, but there are important differences. Your orthopaedic surgeon will talk with you about the different procedures and which operation would be best for you.
Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement
Total hip replacement (also known as hip arthroplasty) is a common orthopaedic procedure and, as the population ages, it is expected to become even more common. Replacing the hip joint with an implant or "prosthesis" relieves pain and improves mobility so that you are able to resume your normal, everyday activities.
Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement (also called knee arthroplasty) is a common orthopaedic procedure that is used to replace the damaged or worn surfaces of the knee. Replacing these surfaces with an implant or "prosthesis" will relieve pain and increase mobility, allowing you to return to your normal, everyday activities.
Outpatient Joint Replacements
You may know someone who had hip or knee replacement surgery and went home the same day. In the past, hip and knee replacement surgery required a hospital stay lasting several nights. With advances in procedural techniques, anesthesia medications, pain management and rehabilitation, some people can now have a joint replacement surgery without spending a night in the hospital.
Partial Joint Replacements
Arthroplasty means the surgical repair of a joint. Orthopaedic surgeons performing an arthroplasty use metal and/or plastic parts to reconstruct degenerative, damaged, or arthritic joint surfaces in patients with severe arthritis who have failed nonsurgical treatment and have disabling function, limitation of activities of daily living, and severe pain.
Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
Every year, thousands of conventional total shoulder replacements are successfully done in the United States for patients with shoulder arthritis. This type of surgery, however, is not as beneficial for patients with large rotator cuff tears who have developed a complex type of shoulder arthritis called "cuff tear arthropathy." For these patients, conventional total shoulder replacement may result in pain and limited motion, and reverse total shoulder replacement is a better option.
Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Surgical Video
The decision to have orthopaedic surgery requires serious consideration. The OrthoInfo Orthopaedic Surgery Video Series for Patients has been developed specifically for patients to help them learn more about common orthopaedic surgical procedures.
Shoulder Joint Replacement
Although shoulder joint replacement is less common than knee or hip replacement, it is just as successful in relieving joint pain.
Surgical Options for Knee Arthritis
When non-surgical treatments for knee arthritis fail, you and your doctor may consider surgery. Learn about which surgical options are optimal for treating osteoarthritis in your knee.
Total Hip Replacement
Whether you have just begun exploring treatment options or have already decided to undergo hip replacement surgery, this information will help you understand the benefits and limitations of total hip replacement.
Total Hip Replacement Surgical Video
This animation explains total hip replacement, a surgical procedure in which parts of an arthritic or damaged hip joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic device called a prosthesis.
Total Joint Replacements
Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic, or ceramic device called a prosthesis. The prosthesis is designed to replicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint.
Total Knee Replacement
If your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury, it may be hard for you to perform simple activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. You may even begin to feel pain while you are sitting or lying down.
Total Knee Replacement Surgical Video
This animation explains total knee replacement, a surgical procedure in which parts of an arthritic or damaged knee joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic device called a prosthesis.
Unicompartmental Knee Replacement
During knee replacement surgery, damaged bone and cartilage is resurfaced with metal and plastic components. In unicompartmental knee replacement (also called "partial" knee replacement) only a portion of the knee is resurfaced. This procedure is an alternative to total knee replacement for patients whose disease is limited to just one area of the knee.
Video: Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement
This video shows a hip replacement surgery where the surgeon uses the anterior approach – accessing the joint from the front of the hip. You will see what takes place before, during and after surgery.
Video: Posterior Approach to Hip Replacement
This video shows a hip replacement surgery where the surgeon uses the mini-posterior approach – accessing the joint from the back of the hip. You will see what takes place before, during and after surgery.