Every year there are more than 285,000 hip replacement surgeries conducted in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. A typical hip replacement procedure consists of doctors repairing cartilage damage that causes joints in the hip bones to break down over time. Once a hip component is fitted and inserted into a socket, then new bone eventually grows and fills up the openings in the joints that attach to the leg bones.
There are currently 2.5 million Americans living with an artificial hip, and the percentages of individuals aged 45 to 64 who have had the surgery conducted on them has increased 123 percent since the year 2000. The procedure will temporarily limit mobility, but artificial hip joints are typically projected to last for 10 to 20 years without loosening, which can greatly benefit overall health in the long run. Here are some insights and tips regarding how hip replacement surgery can improve your condition, what to expect post-abscission and how to properly recover when it is all said and done.
Benefits of having a hip replacement
Besides the ability to regain proper mobility, there are a number of tremendous upsides that come along with going through surgery. In a study presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, researchers analyzed more than 43,000 patients who were suffering from osteoarthritis of the hip from 1998 through 2009. The doctors found that those who underwent total hip replacement surgery greatly reduced their chances of heart failure, diabetes and depression compared to those who avoided treatment.
Dr. Scott Lovald, a researcher at Exponent, Inc and lead author of the study, confirmed his team's findings that following through with the procedure can efficiently improve a person's overall quality of life.
"The study has demonstrated that total hip replacement confers a potential long-term benefit in terms of prolonged lifespan and reduced burden of disease in Medicare patients with osteoarthritis of the hip," Lovald stated in a press release.
The first few days after receiving a total hip replacement are by far the most difficult and will require at least a few days of staying in bed. Upon awakening after surgery, there might be a catheter connected to your bladder so you won't have to get up to use the restroom. While people are normally found to be able to get out of bed after a few days with the assistance of a cane or crutches, it is heavily advised to limit your mobility while your body is adjusting to the new hip joint. Some simple precautions to consider post-surgery include:
- Do not cross your legs while seated
- Never raise your knee above your hip
- Avoid sitting on low chairs, beds or toilets
- Sleep on your back
- Continue using crutches or a walking cane until you can fully support your own weight without discomfort
Living with a new hip
It's estimated that after 6 to 8 weeks, patients can resume their full-time activities, although it is adamantly advised to forgo more arduous forms of physical activity, such as jogging or tennis for quite some time. Staying active after wounds have fully healed is essential to the recovery process, and frequently finding time to go for a walk, swim or play a round of golf will aid your strength and flexibility.
Overall, the biggest benefit to hip replacement surgery is no longer having to feel pain and pressure in your joints and bones. Those who are contemplating whether to have the procedure should rest assured that millions of Americans are currently taking advantage of life after undergoing this operation. Contact your physician right away if hip replacement surgery is the right move for you.