HIP JOINT REPLACEMENT
A hip joint replacement is an operation to treat arthritis of the hip joint and involves replacing the arthritic joint with artificial moving parts to alleviate pain and restore function.
Arthritis results in a loss of cartilage from the femoral head ("ball") and acetabulum ("socket") causing pain. Patients with hip arthritis typically present with groin pain although buttock and thigh pain are also common. This pain can result in difficulty mobilising and a reduced walking distance as well as night pain. Arthritis can also cause stiffness resulting in difficulty cutting your toe nails, putting on your shoes and socks and getting in and out of a low vehicle.
PLANNING FOR SURGERY
X-rays with a template marker are obtained before your surgery to enable for detailed planning of your hip replacement including positioning and size of prosthetic implants.
A hip replacement involves replacing the arthritic acetabulum ("cup") with a titanium component lined with polyethylene ("plastic") and replacing the arthritic femoral head ("ball") with a metal stem that is cemented in place. I use a posterior approach for my hip replacements which is the most common approach used in New Zealand. This involves going in through the 'back' of your hip joint preserving the abductor (gluteus medius and minimus) muscles and their tendons meaning you can fully weightbear immediately after your surgery without a limp. Most patients will use two crutches for the first few weeks after surgery.
If your arthritic hip is causing you pain and affecting your lifestyle I will endeavour to see you for consideration of a hip replacement within 3 weeks of receiving your referral and aim to complete your surgery within 3 months.