Total hip replacement is an effective treatment for many types of hip conditions, including arthritis, bursitis, dislocation and fractures. The procedure involves removing the hip joint, scraping away damaged cartilage and bone in the hip socket, and replacing the ball-and-socket with an implant made of high-grade plastics, metal and ceramic.
SSM Health Orthopedics provides this surgery, using the most advanced technology to restore your movement and function in as little time as possible.
Traditionally, a hip replacement involves making a long 10 - 12 inch incision over the hip joint. While this technique is reliable and time-tested, it can cause damage to the surrounding muscle and other soft tissue. A newer, minimally invasive hip replacement is available and uses one or two small incisions. This option is usually recommended for younger patients who don’t have significant joint damage.
Why It Is Performed
If your hip has been damaged by arthritis, a fracture, infection or injury, you may experience unbearable pain every day. Even the most effortless tasks such as walking, putting on your shoes and socks, or getting out of bed can be difficult.
When medications and non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief, total hip replacement can reduce your pain and help you return to the activities you love.
To identify if you’re a candidate for this surgery, your doctor will order X-rays of your hip. Your doctor may consider several additional factors to see if minimally invasive surgery is an option for you. Due to newer surgical techniques, less than 10% of people who undergo total hip replacement require follow-up surgery.
Approaches To Hip Replacement
Your hip joint is comprised of a socket and a round ball which sits on top of your thigh bone (femur). With surgery, the damaged ball and socket is removed. It is then replaced with an artificial joint, supported with a femoral stem (implant). This stem is inserted down the center of the thigh bone. Ultimately, the goal of the surgery is to replace your joint while preserving as much muscle and ligament as possible.
There are two approaches to this procedure.
- Posterior approach: an incision is made down the side of your leg; most commonly used method
- Anterior approach: an incision is made in the groin area
The right approach for you will depend on your age, weight and degree of damage to your hip joint. Your doctor will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine your next steps. If you’re referred to one of our surgeons, they will work closely with you to identify the best surgical approach for you.
A total hip replacement typically takes two to three hours. Most patients are able to get out of bed and walk with assistance from a physical therapist the day after their surgery.
To maximize your recovery, you will need ongoing care with a physical therapist. Most patients begin their physical therapy sessions the morning after surgery. Physical therapy will continue while you are in the hospital and may be needed up to four times a week once you return home.
If you’re considering a total hip replacement, take the next step and schedule an appointment with an SSM Health orthopedic specialist. Our team will provide you the expert support you need to heal your body and get you back on your feet.