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Arthritis and Total Hip Replacement: What You Need to Know

Arthritis can cause stress on all of your joints. The hip joints are often affected, which can make it uncomfortable to walk or even sit. At some point, you may think about having a total hip replacement.

If you have chronic pain in your hips, and it’s affecting your daily life, you may be a good candidate for hip replacement surgery. For those who are good candidates, a total hip replacement can often provide dramatic pain relief.

In this blog, the providers at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine explain what you need to know about total hip replacement surgery.

Signs that you might need hip replacement surgery

Hip replacement surgery is an effective treatment for severe cases of hip arthritis. Any form of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause degeneration in your hip joints. 

A condition called avascular necrosis is another reason to get a hip replacement. With this condition, the blood supply to the bone is diminished, and the bone tissue starts to develop cracks. 

Some of the signs that you might need total a hip replacement include the following:

What to expect from hip replacement surgery

Your hip joint includes the round top of your leg bone, which fits into a depression in your pelvic bone. This forms a ball-and-socket joint. Cartilage covers the two bones where they meet, which provides cushioning for your joint every time you move.

When you have arthritis, the cartilage between these two bones wears away, causing the bones to grind against each other. Depending on your case, we may perform a traditional surgery or a minimally invasive surgery.

Traditional surgery

With a traditional total hip replacement, you’re put under general anesthesia, and your surgeon makes a 10-to-12 inch incision. Then your doctor removes the damaged cartilage and bone tissue and reshapes the remaining bone tissue.

Then your socket is replaced with a cup-shaped prosthesis. For your leg, your doctor implants a ball-shaped prosthesis on the top, where it will fit into your new socket. Then, your doctor replaces the cartilage with plastic, ceramic, or metal spacers. And, finally, your doctor secures the ball into your new socket.

Minimally invasive surgery

In some cases, we may decide to do a minimally invasive surgery, which takes only one or two 3-to-6 inch incisions. The smaller cuts and minimally invasive techniques should result in less blood loss, less scarring, a faster healing time, and less pain.

However, not everyone is a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery. During a consultation, one of our providers will tell you which type of surgery is best. This will depend on your overall health and the type of correction that will be needed.

If you’re dealing with chronic hip pain, and it’s seriously impacting your quality of life, a total hip replacement could be just what you need. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine today. 

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