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What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement (total hip arthroplasty) is surgery to replace a worn out or damaged hip joint. The surgeon replaces the old joint with an artificial joint (prosthesis). This surgery may be a choice after a hip fracture or for severe pain because of arthritis. The goal of hip replacement surgery is to replace the parts of the hip joint that have been damaged. It also helps relieve hip pain that can’t be controlled by other treatments.

Customize Your Hip Replacement in MA and RI

At Southcoast Health, we are dedicated to helping our patients live without pain or limitations through our orthopedic services. That’s why we offer customized options for total joint replacement, such as hip replacement, for our patients in Fall River, Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Wareham, MA. Our experienced team will ensure that your hip replacement fits correctly so that you can stay active and pain-free every single day.
Hip replacement — also known as hip arthroplasty — is a type of surgery used to replace an injured or diseased hip joint with an artificial implant or joint. People generally receive this type of surgery due to hip pain caused by osteoarthritis. Hip fractures and natural wear are other typical reasons to undergo hip replacement surgery.

Am I a Candidate for a Hip Replacement?

Our doctors perform hip replacement and revision for severe hip joint damage due to arthritis, infections, or injuries. Your doctor might recommend hip replacement if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Hip stiffness or pain that limits your mobility.
  • Hip pain even while resting.
  • X-rays reveal joint damage, including loss of cartilage or bone wear.
  • Physical therapy, joint injections, and anti-inflammatory medications haven’t resolved the issue.

Those considering this procedure should ask their doctor whether they are a good fit for a less-invasive hip replacement in MA or RI. These procedures typically yield a faster recovery and are less extensive than open surgery on the joint.

The best candidates include those with chronic pain that interferes with daily activities. Along with individuals who have osteoarthritis or hip injuries, people with rheumatoid arthritis, bone tumors, or osteonecrosis might require a hip replacement to alleviate pain.

How Do I Know When It’s Time for a Hip Replacement?

Your doctor will likely prescribe alternative methods to reduce pain or increase mobility prior to recommending an artificial hip implantation. For example, subchondroplasty promotes natural bone growth in order to repair damaged hips. Doctors inject bone substitute into your hip joint to fill in the gaps and lesions in the hip bone. The body then works to replace the material with natural bone, which sometimes leads to a permanent repair.

In cases where other treatments fail, your doctor might consider a hip replacement. The diagnostic stage includes an analysis of your medical history, x-rays, and physical examinations to determine strength and range of motion. If needed, your doctor will order a CT or MRI for a closer look at the damaged area.

Types of Hip Replacement Surgery

Ask your surgeon whether they will perform a posterior (back of the hip) or an anterior (front of the hip) approach. The posterior method is often preferred due to increased visibility of the hip joint, as well as the less invasive nature of the procedure.

Hip replacement or revision surgeons sometimes use a special bone cement to secure the hip implants or utilize a cementless fixation method. The implants used vary based on the damage encountered before or during the procedure.

What to Expect with Hip Replacement Surgery

Prior to surgery, we invite you to attend the Total Joint Camp. At camp, patients and family members learn what happens before, during, and after the procedure. Taking this free class can make recovery go more quickly and help you prepare for a more active lifestyle post-surgery.

  • During a hip replacement or repair, you surgeon will make an incision to excise diseased or damaged bone and cartilage, which will be replaced by metal or implants. Most surgical procedures entail a total hip replacement, with partial hip replacement sometimes performed for fractured or broken hips.
  • Hip replacement requires general anesthesia and a stay at a Southcoast Health hospital. On average, our patients spend 2.5 days at our facilities compared to the national average of over 3 days.

Our staff will ensure that you return home immediately with the appropriate home care services. However, some patients may have to stay at a skilled nursing facility to recuperate. You will start to feel back to normal within 8 to 12 weeks, but a full recovery may take up to a year. Most of our hip replacement patients return to activities they were not able to do before surgery, and the majority of hip replacements still function well 15 years after surgery.

Keep Moving with a Hip Replacement from Southcoast Health

Keep moving with a top-notch hip replacement at Southcoast Health. Our orthopedic surgeons and staff are fully dedicated to you and always aim to make the process as comfortable as possible. Join the many clients we have helped with our orthopedic specialty services at St. Luke’s Hospital, Charlton Memorial Hospital, Tobey Hospital or Southcoast Surgery Center. Southcoast Health is proud to provide you with resources to learn more about hip replacement in New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fall River, Wareham, and surrounding areas in the states of MA and RI. To learn more, please contact us today.