Total Hip Replacement - Experience

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What is a total hip replacement?

A total hip replacement is a surgical procedure whereby the diseased cartilage and bone of the hip joint is surgically replaced with artificial materials. The normal hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The socket is a "cup-shaped" component of the pelvis called the acetabulum. The ball is the head of the thighbone (femur). Total hip joint replacement involves surgical removal of the diseased ball and socket and replacing them with a metal (or ceramic) ball and stem inserted into the femur bone and an artificial plastic (or ceramic) cup socket. The metallic artificial ball and stem are referred to as the "femoral prosthesis" and the plastic cup socket is the "acetabular prosthesis." Upon inserting the prosthesis into the central core of the femur, it is fixed with a bony cement called methylmethacrylate. Alternatively, a "cementless" prosthesis is used that has microscopic pores which allow bony ingrowth from the normal femur into the prosthesis stem. This "cementless" hip is felt to have a longer duration and is considered especially for younger patients. Total hip replacement is also referred to as total hip arthroplasty.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Barbara, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 18

Exactly one month ago I had a left hip replacement via the anterior method. I have had absolutely no pain at all, no need for medication except aspirin for a blood thinner, vitamin C, multi vitamins and an anti-inflammatory tablet once a day. I am an 80 year old female and have been doing physical conditioning with a trainer to prepare for the surgery for several months before surgery. While I think my experience with no pain may be rare I do think the anterior method does increase the chance of less pain. I have physiotherapy 3 times a week now, I have been driving for some time now and can totally take care of myself and home. I think the key to a good recovery is probably to get help doing the proper exercises to strengthen yourself ahead of time. I was told in the hospital they never see results like mine unless a person has done physical therapy before surgery and then they always see really good recovery. I can walk well without a cane or walker but I am being very careful to maintain a good gait while walking so use a cane if I feel fatigue setting in or if I start limping.

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Comment from: Marge, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I had total left hip replacement last May 2015. The surgery went well and I was very pleased until the hip and back became very stiff and sore when walking. My leg also bothers me most days. I did my exercises, went for physiotherapy, and everything I was supposed to do. If and when I go to the chiropractor it is great but only lasts a day or two and back to the stiffness again. Some tell me this is normal but I find that hard to believe. I would appreciate any assistance with this.

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