Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Key information:

Important:

The information provided on this website is done so as a guideline to assist you in further understanding your surgical treatment and what to expect. Each patient’s treatment plan is tailored to their conditions so your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other peoples.

Please contact Dr Rodda for advice should you be concerned about any aspect of your health or recovery.


Overview

Patients suffering from hip pain or hip joint damage, that is affecting their day to day lives and ability to perform daily activities, may be suitable for hip replacement surgery. Should non-surgical treatment options, such as walking aids and medication or exercise be alleviating the pain, you should discuss your suitability for Total Hip replacement with Dr Rodda.

Total hip replacement surgery is performed to remove diseased and damaged components of the hip joint and replaces them with new, artificial patient specific prosthetics.
This surgery is designed to alleviate pain and improve hip joint movement and mobility.
Total hip replacement surgery is very safe procedure designed to relieve your pain, discomfort, joint stiffness, and allow you to get back to activities you enjoy. This surgery is a common treatment for severe osteoarthritis.
Using modern day implants, and minimally invasive surgical techniques, your total hip replacement should result in a pain free outcome for at least 20-30 years.

Process

An incision is made approximately 12-15cm long centered over the side of the hip, curving towards the buttocks. This approach allows the hip joint to be accessed with minimal trauma to the surrounding muscles.

The surgeon then dislocates the hip joint and a cut is made through the neck of the femur to expose the pelvic and leg areas of the joint. A cemented or cement-free component is fixed to the pelvis and femur, the cement used will be dependent upon the quality of your bone and your age.

Reconstruction of the ball and socket joint is performed using either a metal, plastic or ceramic on ceramic, articulation. Computer navigation may also be used during the surgery to ensure that the leg length obtained is correct and the orientation of the artificial components allows the patient a maximum range of motion.

Recovery

One day after surgery you will be mobile and moving around, with the ability to place your full body weight through your hip joint.  Physiotherapists and Nurses will advise you on how to correctly use your walking frame or crutches.
Generally, patients will have a hospital stay of around 5-7 days following a total hip replacement, and will then be discharged as long as you have made progress with your recovery and have ample support at home.

The use of crutches is recommended for a 4-6-week period following surgery, however during this period you should sleep flat on your back, avoid crossing your legs and used a raised seat on the toilet.

No driving is allowed during the first 6 weeks following surgery. It is advised you keep car travel as a passenger to a minimum during this time.  These recommendations will assist in your recovery and lowering the chance of the hip dislocation.

Benefits

The main benefits of a successful total hip replacement include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Improved mobility
  • Better quality of life.

Risks

  • There are general risks associated with any surgery, and these include blood clots, infection and vascular injury.
  • Risks specific to total hip replacement surgery are:
  • Dislocation of the hip prosthesis
  • Leg length inequality
  • Fracture of the femur or pelvis
  • Loosening of the implants
  • Audible ‘squeaking’ of the articulating ceramic components
  • Nerve injury.

FAQs

How long do I need to keep taking the pain medication for?

You should take your analgesics in the recommended dose when you are experiencing pain when walking or at night when you are trying to sleep. Generally, patients are able to stop taking painkillers four weeks following surgery.

When can I resume normal activity?

You will have a consultation with Dr Rodda six weeks after your surgery.
At this point, your recovery progress will be reviewed and given the all clear, you can return to sport, the gym and other recreational pursuits.

It is recommended you do not return to running or jumping exercises following a total hip replacement.

When can I return to work?
Generally, patients return to work three months after surgery. This timeframe may be extended should you perform heavy manual labour in your job. Dr Rodda will advise you of his recommendation for your personal situation at your consultation.

When can I resume sexual activity?
Most patients are able to undertake sexual intercourse six weeks after surgery.  If you have any concerns or are having any problems, please discuss this with Dr Rodda.

Do I need physiotherapy when I go home?
You will be provided with a list of exercises to follow by your surgeon or a Physiotherapist at the hospital after your surgery. If you follow this exercise plan, you should not need to see a physiotherapist when you get home.