Hip Replacement

Orthopaedic Specialists of Maryland - Hip Replacement Information

Hip Anatomy

The healthy hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball is at the top of the thighbone (femur), and the socket (acetabulum) is in the hipbone (pelvis). The connection allows the leg to move in a variety of positions. The ball and socket are each covered with cartilage that lubricates and cushions the bones during movement.

Arthritis is a term that is used to describe over 100 different kinds of conditions that can affect the human body. There are millions of Americans who are affected by arthritis each year. Arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of motion in affected joints.

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The Hip Replacement Procedure

The bones in the hip are exposed by an incision. The damaged sections of bone are removed to make room for the replacement components. The thighbone receives a metal alloy stem and ball, and the pelvis receives a metal cup and liner. Traditionally, the metal cup is lined with polyethylene (plastic) to act as healthy cartilage. However, modern technology has allowed advancements in both metal and ceramic liners. These components now give the patient and surgeon additional options for hip replacement. Your surgeon will evaluate your specific condition and may be able to tell you which option will provide the most favorable results.

Healthy Hip

Arthritic Hip

After Surgery

Hip Implant

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Caring for Your New Hip Implant

During your first few weeks at home, it is important that you move properly. You should avoid crossing your legs while sitting or standing, and do not allow your knees to come higher than your hips. Also, avoid sitting in low sofas or chairs.

It is important to have some assistance when going up and down stairs. When climbing stairs, always use the railing and lead with your non-surgical leg, one step at a time. When going down stairs, hold onto the railing and lead with your surgical leg, again, one step at a time.

Continue the prescribed exercises during your entire recovery period, and talk to your doctor about developing an exercise program after you fully recover. Golfing, swimming, walking, and bicycling are excellent sources of low-impact exercise if your physician feels that these activities are appropriate for your individual condition.

Follow your physician's check-up plan. It is common to visit with your surgeon at three, six, and nine months after surgery and annually thereafter.

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Physical Therapy and Exercises for Hip Replacement

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