Patients

Phoenix Hip Replacement

Introduction

Thank you for visiting the Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics and learning about hip replacement surgery in Phoenix. Our education describes how a normal hip works, the causes of hip pain, and what to expect from hip replacement surgery.

If your hip has been damaged by arthritis, a fracture or other conditions, common activities such as walking or getting in and out of a chair may be painful and difficult. Your hip may be stiff and it may be hard to put on your shoes and socks. You may even feel uncomfortable while resting.

First performed in 1960, hip replacement surgery is one of the most important surgical advances of the last century. Since 1960, improvements in joint replacement surgical techniques and technology have greatly increased the effectiveness of total hip replacement. Today, more than 193,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States. Similar surgical procedures are performed on other joints, including the knee, shoulder and elbow.

Hip Replacement Anatomy

Hip Replacement PhoenixAnatomy of Hip
Medical Illustration © 2012 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

The hip is one of the body's largest weight-bearing joints. It consists of two main parts: a ball (femoral head) at the top of your thighbone (femur) that fits into a rounded socket (acetabulum) in your pelvis. Bands of tissue called ligaments (hip capsule) connect the ball to the socket and provide stability to the joint.

The bone surfaces of the ball and socket have a smooth durable cover of articular cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones and enables them to move easily.

A thin, smooth tissue called synovial membrane covers all remaining surfaces of the hip joint. In a healthy hip, this membrane makes a small amount of fluid that lubricates and almost eliminates friction in your hip joint.

Normally, all of these parts of your hip work in harmony, allowing you to move easily and without pain.

Common Causes of Hip Pain and Loss of Hip Mobility

The most common cause of chronic hip pain and disability is arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis are the most common forms of this disease.

Phoenix Hip ReplacementHip Replacement
Medical Illustration © 2012 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
  • Osteoarthritis usually occurs in people 50 years of age and older and often individuals with a family history of arthritis. It may be caused or accelerated by subtle irregularities in how the hip developed. In this form of the disease, the articular cartilage cushioning the bones of the hip wears away. The bones then rub against each other, causing hip pain and stiffness.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the synovial membrane becomes inflamed, produces too much synovial fluid, and damages the articular cartilage, leading to pain and stiffness.
  • Traumatic arthritis can follow a serious hip injury or fracture. A hip fracture can cause a condition known as osteonecrosis where the articular cartilage becomes damaged and, over time, causes hip pain and stiffness.

Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement

Over the past several years, orthopedic surgeons have been developing new, minimally-invasive surgical techniques for inserting total hip implants through smaller incisions.

It is hoped, but not yet proven, that this may allow for quicker, less painful recovery and more rapid return to normal activities. Minimally invasive and small-incision total hip replacement surgery is a rapidly evolving area. Although certain techniques have proven to be safe, others may be associated with an increased risk of complications, such as nerve and artery injuries, wound healing problems, infection, fracture of the femur, and malposition of the implants, which can contribute to premature wear, dislocation and loosening of your hip replacement.

Patients who have marked deformity of the joint, who are heavy or muscular, and who have other health conditions that can contribute to wound healing issues appear to be at higher risk of problems.

Your orthopedic surgeon can talk to you about his or her experience with minimally invasive hip replacement surgery and the possible risks and benefits. The AAOS and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons have also developed information for patients about minimally invasive hip replacement surgery.

What to Expect From Hip Replacement Surgery

Most people who undergo hip replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction of hip pain and a significant improvement in their ability to perform common daily activities. However, hip replacement surgery will not enable you to do more than you could before your hip problem developed.

Following surgery, you will be advised to avoid certain activities, including jogging and high-impact sports, for the rest of your life. You may be asked to avoid specific positions of the joint that could lead to dislocation as well.

Even with normal use and activities, an artificial joint (prosthesis) develops some wear over time. If you participate in high-impact activities or are overweight, this wear may accelerate and cause the prosthesis to loosen and become painful. Patients may also experience bursitis or tendonitis after surgery.

Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery

Medical Evaluation

In preparing for hip replacement surgery, you may be asked to have a complete physical examination by your primary care doctor before your surgical procedure. This is needed to assess your health and identify conditions that can interfere with your surgery or recovery.

Tests

Several tests may be needed to help plan your surgery: blood and urine samples may be tested and an electrocardiogram and chest x-rays (radiographs) may be obtained.

Medications

Tell your orthopedic surgeon about the medications you are taking. Your orthopedist or your primary care doctor will advise you which medications you should stop or can continue taking before surgery.

Weight Loss

If you are overweight, your doctor may ask you to lose some weight before surgery to minimize the stress on your new hip and possibly decrease the risks associated with having surgery.

Dental Evaluation

Although infections after hip replacement are not common, an infection can occur if bacteria enters your bloodstream. Because bacteria can enter the bloodstream during dental procedures, you should consider getting treatment for significant dental diseases (including tooth extractions and periodontal work) before your hip replacement surgery. Routine cleaning of your teeth should be delayed for several weeks after surgery.

Urinary Evaluation

Individuals with a history of recent or frequent urinary infections and older men with prostate disease should consider an evaluation before surgery.

Social Planning

Although you will be able to walk with crutches or a walker after surgery, you will need some help for several weeks with such tasks as cooking, shopping, bathing and laundry. If you live alone, someone from your orthopedic surgeon's office, a social worker, or a discharge planner at the hospital can help you make arrangements in advance to have someone assist you at your home. A short stay in an extended-care facility during your recovery after surgery may also be arranged.

Your Surgery

Hip Replacement Surgery - Phoenix ArizonaTotal Hip Replacement Surgery
Medical Illustration © 2012 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

You will be admitted to the hospital on the day of your surgery and the procedure takes a few hours. Your orthopedic surgeon will remove the damaged cartilage and bone and then position new metal, plastic or ceramic joint surfaces to restore the alignment and function of your hip.

Many different types of designs and materials are currently used in artificial hip joints. All of them consist of two basic components: the ball component (made of a highly polished strong metal or ceramic material) and the socket component (a durable cup made of plastic, ceramic or metal, which may have an outer metal shell).

An uncemented prosthesis has been developed and is used most often in younger, more active patients with strong bones. The prosthesis may be coated with textured metal or a special bone-like substance, which allows bone to grow into the prosthesis.

Special surgical cement may be used to fill the gap between the prosthesis and remaining natural bone to secure the artificial joint.

A combination of a cemented stem and an uncemented socket may be used. Your orthopedic surgeon will choose the type of prosthesis that best meets your needs.

After surgery, you will be moved to the recovery room where you will be monitored while recovering from anesthesia. After you awaken fully, you will be taken to your hospital room.

Recovery after Hip Replacement Surgery

The success of your surgery will depend in large measure on how well you follow your orthopedic surgeon's instructions regarding home care during the first few weeks after surgery.

How Your New Hip Is Different

You may feel some numbness in the skin around your incision. You also may feel some stiffness, particularly with excessive bending. These differences often diminish with time, and most patients find these are minor compared with the pain and limited function they experienced prior to surgery.

Your new hip may activate metal detectors required for security in airports and some buildings. Tell the security agent about your hip replacement if the alarm is activated. You may ask your orthopedic surgeon for a card confirming that you have an artificial hip.

After surgery, make sure you also do the following:

  • Participate in a regular light exercise program to maintain proper strength and mobility of your new hip.
  • Take special precautions to avoid falls and injuries. Individuals who have undergone hip replacement surgery and experience a fracture may require more surgery.
  • Notify your dentist that you have had a hip replacement. You will need to take antibiotics before any dental procedure. Information for your surgeon regarding the use of antibiotics is available from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).

See your orthopedic surgeon periodically for routine follow-up examinations and x-rays (radiographs), even if your hip replacement seems to be doing fine.

At the Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics, we provide best-in-class surgical and non-surgical treatment options for those suffering from chronic hip pain. Call us today at 1.855.409.7520 to set up an appointment for Phoenix Hip Replacement Surgery, Knee Replacement Surgery & Shoulder Replacement Surgery.