Your hip is a large ball-and-socket joint that forms the connection between the upper ball joint of your femur (thigh bone) and the socket joint in your pelvis. Your hip supports the weight of your upper body when standing and walking.
When you have hip pain that makes it impossible for you to stand or walk, you might need hip joint replacement surgery. You’re not alone if you feel uncertain about going ahead with hip replacement, though it’s one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine.
At Douglas J. Abeles MD & Associates in Castro Valley, California, our highly skilled orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Abeles, regularly performs hip joint replacement surgery to relieve hip pain and restore joint mobility and health.
In this blog, we discuss what you can expect with hip joint replacement to ease your anxiety and apprehension about the procedure.
Do I need hip replacement?
You may benefit from hip joint replacement if you have hip pain and joint damage from arthritis or an injury to the hip. But we only recommend surgery when medical interventions no longer provide the relief you need to engage in your daily routine.
Before we move to hip joint replacement, we may try physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or alternative therapies like chiropractic care or acupuncture.
We are committed to exploring all options for pain relief before moving ahead with surgery. We have a chiropractor, Dr. Jalal-Arman Daryaie, and acupuncturist, Minzhan (Mindy) Gao, LAc, on staff who provide the extra care you need, as well as a board-certified physical therapist, Dr. Creed Larrucea.
But when your hip pain is so bad that you can’t get out of your chair despite all our conservative interventions, then it’s time to talk about surgical options. During hip joint replacement, we remove the damaged ball and socket joint of your hip and put in prosthetic parts.
What to expect after surgery
You can expect pain and swelling at the joint following your hip replacement surgery. But the best thing you can do to reduce your pain is movement. We get you up and walking within hours after your surgery. You may even get to go home the same day.
We have you work with our physical therapist before your hip replacement to learn some simple exercises you can do when you first get home. Dr. Larrucea also teaches you how to manage your basic needs, like getting out of bed and into a chair.
We have you start rehabilitation therapy within a few days to help with pain control, improve joint mobility, and strengthen the supportive muscles.
How long is recovery?
Recovery following hip joint replacement varies. But it’s not as arduous as you might think. Most of the recovery happens within the first two months. This means you can expect a significant improvement in pain and mobility not too long after surgery. But full recovery takes about a year.
We encourage you to get back to your active lifestyle as soon as you’re able: walking, swimming, biking. The only things we discourage are high-impact activities like running because they may wear on or loosen your new joint.
Hip joint replacement surgery is life-changing, and with advances in surgical tools and techniques, it keeps getting better and more effective.
Don’t let hip pain stop you from living your life. Schedule an appointment to find out how hip replacement can help you. Call our office in Castro Valley, California, today.