Hip replacement surgery has developed dramatically over the past several decades. What was once a medieval surgery with over three weeks of recovery in a hospital has now become a minimally invasive outpatient day surgery for some. It is one of the most successful surgeries of any surgery known to the medical community. The procedure is being done for younger people due to the expertise of the surgeons, and the materials used are so much better than what they used to be. People’s pain and functional improvements are typically outstanding.

What happens with arthritis?

The hip comprises a socket, the acetabulum, and a ball, the femoral head.

When arthritis sets in, the joint surface loses its cushion, and the bones of the hip start to rub against each other.

People will experience loss of motion and pain as a result. Symptoms that people complain of are difficulty getting to their shoes and socks, trimming their nails, getting up out of a car or chair. They also feel pain climbing stairs and sleeping when cases are severe. Treatment options are physical therapy followed by anti-inflammatories and Tylenol. Cortisone or PRP injections can be entertained when these are no longer effective. If these treatment options do not work, then a hip replacement can be considered.

The surgery typically takes about an hour to an hour and a half. The head is removed, and a new cup is placed in the socket.

An extremely durable plastic liner is placed in the socket. A stem is placed in the femur, and a new ceramic head is placed on the stem.

Initially, recovery basically involves getting out of bed, climbing stairs, and getting yourself in and out of the restroom. I have had great success with people going home the same day. After that, a physical therapist comes to your house, and you have exercises to perform, including hip strengthening, walking, and climbing stairs. People do get back to a fully active lifestyle. The range of motion improvement and pain relief is usually the first thing people. Like any surgery, there are risks, but most people do very well.