Total Hip Replacement
Causes of Hip Pain
Your joints are involved in almost every activity you do. Movements such as walking, bending and turning require the use of your hip and knee joints. When your hip becomes diseased or injured, the resulting pain can severely limit your ability to move and work.
One common cause of knee and hip pain is Osteoarthritis (OA). OA is sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it is a “wearing out” condition involving the breakdown of cartilage and bones. With osteoarthritis, the cushioning cartilage at the end of the femur may have worn down, making walking painful as bone rubs against bone.
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What is Hip Replacement Surgery?
Total Hip Replacement (THR) surgery involves the removal of arthritic bone and damaged cartilage, and replacing them with hip implants that are designed to replicate the hip joint. Most people who undergo hip replacement are between the ages of 50 and 80.
During surgery, the femur (head of the thigh bone) is replaced with a metal stem and the acetabulum (hip socket) is fitted with a metal cup. The artificial ball is placed on a metal stem, and the artificial socket is lined with polyethylene (a durable plastic). Some surgeons use minimally invasive surgical approaches such as the Direct Anterior Approach for Total Hip Replacement. This technique may be associated with reduced muscle damage and pain, as well as faster post-operative recovery.
Mako robotic-arm technology can be used for Total Hip Replacement, which is a procedure designed for patients who suffer from non-inflammatory or inflammatory degenerative joint disease of the hip. This technology provides your surgeon with a patient-specific 3D model to pre-plan your hip replacement. During surgery, your surgeon guides the robotic-arm based on your patient-specific plan. This helps the surgeon to focus on removal of diseased bone, helping preserve healthy bone, and assists your surgeon in positioning the total hip implant based on your anatomy.
How does Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery work?
It all begins with a CT scan of your joint that is used to generate a 3D virtual model of your unique anatomy. This virtual model is loaded into the Mako system software and is used to create your personalized preoperative plan.
Prior to surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, you and your family will attend a free Joints Matter program at the Hospital. You will know exactly what to anticipate before and after the surgery, the daily expectations of rehabilitation therapy, and what you can do to recover more quickly.
During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm while preparing the hip socket and positioning the implant based on your personalized pre-operative plan. The Mako system also allows your surgeon to make adjustments to your plan during surgery as needed. When the surgeon prepares the bone for the implant, the Mako system guides the surgeon within the pre-defined area and helps prevent the surgeon from moving outside the planned boundaries. This helps provide more accurate placement and alignment of your implant.
After surgery, you’re taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (recovery room) for one to two hours. You’re then moved to your private room in one of Silver Cross’ surgical units, where you typically stay for a couple of days before going home, or a rehabilitation facility. You may feel some pain, but medications prescribed by your doctor should help control it. Your surgeon, nurses and physical therapists will set goals with you to get you back on the move. They will closely monitor your condition and progress. Your surgeon may review an x-ray of your new hip replacement with you.
During the first few weeks after surgery, you’re more likely to experience a good recovery if you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions. If needed, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab at Silver Cross Hospital offers outpatient rehabilitation. Just ask your surgeon for a referral.
After surgery, if you require additional assistance when you return home, the Silver Cross Home Health team will be there for you. Our experienced staff will even come out prior to your surgery to offer assistance in making sure everything is ready when you return home. It is just one of the reasons why we have been recognized as a HomeCare Elite Top Agency for many years.
Surgery is a difficult decision. You should talk with your doctor to better understand the risks and complications before making the decision to undergo total hip replacement; but consider that a study has shown that better outcomes have been reported in those patients who had a total joint operation earlier in their disease process. Two years after their operation, patients who chose surgery earlier in the disease process had improved function and reduced pain compared to those who waited.