Total Hip Replacement

What is a Total Hip Replacement?
A THR denotes removal of the damaged ball and socket of your hip joint and replacing them with an artificial joint. These can be made of metal, plastic or ceramic. The artificial joint is either fixed to the bone with osseous cement, or has a surface that new bone will grow into.

Why do I need a THR?
There are many diseases which require a totalhip replacement. The most common is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis simply means that the cartilage of the hip joint has worn out, resulting in the head of the thigh and the acetabulum. This is very painful and stops you being able to move your hipsas you once did.

How is it working?
After your operation, the damaged surfaces have been removed. In their position there is a new artificial joint that promotes you have no pain, which shouldimprove your ability to walk.

Are the any alternatives to a THR?
Before suggesting surgery your doctor may have offered several alternative treatments including drugs, physiotherapy, weight loss, special gymnastics and walking supplies. Only when these treatments no longer control your pain will your doctor suggest a THR, or when your life perspective is not good any more.

Are there any complications with a THR operation?
There are some complications associated with this operation and although rare, itis important that you are completely informed about them. These are:
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Infection, Dislocation, Foot weakness, Loosening,Leg length discrepancy..

The operation
Before your operation, the surgeon will discuss the procedure with you and answer any other questions you may have. You will also be asked to sign a form, giving your concept to the operation.


The D day (operation day)
The anaesthesiologistwill visit you before your operation. You will be told not to eat or drink for approximately 6-8 hours before your operation. If you are on any regular medication, please ask the anaesthetist what you can take on the day of surgery.Theoperation is usually carried out under general anaesthetic and the procedureusually takes between one and two hours.

How will I feel after the operation?
After the operation you will feel some pain and discomfort, which will be helped by medication.
You may have the following:
• Small drainage tubes coming from your wound
• A drip to replace lost fluids
• An oxygen mask
All will be removed as soon as possible after surgery..

Advice on walking
The physiotherapist will advise you on how much weight you are allowed to take on your operated leg. Initially you should be supervised by either a physiotherapist or a nurse when walking and you will be advised when you are safe enough to walk by yourself. It is important that you practice and improve your walking pattern while on the ward. The physiotherapist will advise you on what aids to use, how long to use them for and how to progress your walking.

Advice on stairs
During your hospital stay, the physiotherapist will show you how to climb the stairs (if applicable).
Always use walking aids and if present a rail(s) or banister(s) to support and assist you while going up or down stairs.

Going up
Go up one step with your non-operated leg -Take your operated leg up one step to join the other leg- Bring your stick(s)/crutch(es) up to the step

Going down
Take your crutches down one step. Place your operated leg down one step beside your walking aid(s). Bring your non-operated leg down one step to meet the other

Hip precautions
Following a THR, the surrounding muscles and tissues need time to heal, and it is important you avoid certain movements after the operation to reduce the risk of dislocating the hip.