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Hip Replacement

What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

The hip is one of the largest and most dynamic joints in the body, it is designed to both stabilize and mobilize the lower extremity—allowing us to be mobile bearing the body’s weight. Hip problems can arise regardless of age, and they can result from a variety of circumstances, including sports injuries, degenerative diseases- like arthritis- and other genetic and environmental causes.

Hip replacement is the removal and replacement of portions of the pelvis and femur (thighbone) that form your hip joint. It is performed primarily to relieve hip pain and stiffness caused by hip arthritis or injuries such as a broken or improperly growing hip, and for other conditions.

The first step in your diagnosis is scheduling an appointment with one of our board certified orthopedic surgeons at Arthritis Total Joint Specialists, a Northside Hospital Network Provider. All treatment plans are different, so we carefully review your symptoms with you and help determine your best course of treatment.

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What are the different types of Hip Replacement Surgery?

Total Hip Replacement

The most common type of hip replacement surgery is called total hip replacement. This procedure is known to help reduce pain and restore hip function.

Total hip replacement surgery involves taking the worn-out or damaged sections of your hip and replacing them with artificial implants that recreate the ball and socket of a healthy hip.

Total hip replacement may be necessary if you have:

  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis post-traumatic arthritis
  • avascular necrosis
  • childhood hip disease
  • And other conditions

Partial Hip Replacement

Partial hip replacement surgery, or hemiarthroplasty, involves replacing the ball of your hip joint, but not the socket.

This procedure is most commonly done in older patients who have fractured their hip.

What are the two main hip replacement surgical methods?

Posterior Approach

The posterior approach is where your surgeon makes an incision through the muscles in your buttock to reach your hip joint. This is a very common approach with a proven track record of excellent results on both primary and revision hip replacements.

Anterior Approach

The anterior approach is considered a more minimally invasive approach. Your surgeon makes smaller incisions and accesses your hip through the front of your leg. The anterior position lets the surgeon work between the muscles of the hip - instead of through them.

Many of the ATJS board-certified orthopedic surgeons specialize in performing anterior hip replacement, so you benefit from a less traumatic experience and much faster healing.

Your surgeon will evaluate which approach best suits your needs to optimize your recovery.

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How do I know if I need hip replacement surgery?

The first step in your diagnosis is scheduling an appointment with an expert board certified orthopedic surgeon at Arthritis Total Joint Specialists, a Northside Hospital Network Provider. No two injuries are alike, so we carefully review your symptoms with you and help determine your best course of treatment.

The hip is one of the largest and most dynamic joints in the body, it is designed to both stabilize and mobilize the lower extremity—allowing us to be mobile while bearing the body’s weight.

Hip problems can arise regardless of age, and they can result from a variety of circumstances, including sports injuries, degenerative disease and sometimes genetic and environmental causes. Some hip injuries can be successfully treated with rehabilitation exercises and non-operative treatments. Other injuries may require an injection or surgery to correct the issue.

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How to prepare for hip surgery?

If you do in fact need to have hip surgery, you will consult with your ATJS orthopedic surgeon and review your medical history and current medications. Your physician may also order blood tests, and compile X-rays or MRIs if needed.

As with all surgeries, hip replacement surgery is a stress on the body. Because of this, we will often ask that you get clearance from your primary care doctor or other specialists such as a cardiologist. This is done to optimize your outcome.

Prior to surgery, your ATJS orthopedic surgeon will examine your hips and test your range of motion and strength. This will help determine the best course of treatment throughout the postoperative period. This will involve therapy and exercise to achieve the best results.

Some general guidelines a patient should adhere to at home when getting ready to have hip replacement surgery are:

  • Modify the home to accommodate the patient during recovery.
  • Remove potential tripping hazards, such as loose carpet and electric cords.
  • Buy a raised toilet seat.
  • Obtain a walking cane
  • Obtain an object grabber to grab objects without having to bend over.
  • Refrain from smoking tobacco for at least a month before surgery.
  • Do not have any dental work at least two weeks before surgery.

What happens during hip surgery?

Hip replacement surgery has evolved into a primarily outpatient procedure. The surgery is done most frequently using a spinal anesthetic and mild sedation. The head ball is removed and replaced with a new ceramic head ball with a stem that rests securely in the femur bone. The socket is replaced with a shell and plastic liner which becomes the long-lasting bearing surface.

The surgery usually takes between 1 to 1.5 hours and most patients are up and walking with a walker between 1 and 2 hours after surgery.

How long does it take to recover from hip surgery?

Patients recover at different rates after surgery depending on many factors. That said, most can expect to be walking around their house with a walker in the first week. Many will move to a cane in the second week and often off assistive devices by the end of the second week.

A typical patient can experience these results:

  • Return to driving is often between 2 and 4 weeks.
  • Walking in the neighborhood or grocery shopping will usually occur around 3 weeks.
  • Return to light activities such as gardening or chipping and putting around the golf course would be between 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Quick movement activities such as tennis or pickleball would be closer to 8 weeks.

What can I do to help my recovery after a hip replacement?

There are many things that can be done by the patient to help smooth out the recovery phase and we will guide you through the process either with a proven online exercise program or outpatient physical therapy.

  • Having a care partner is very helpful in the first week to help with some basics and allow you to focus on your recovery.
  • Simple preoperative exercises can be very helpful to engage some muscle memory which often makes the initial postoperative recovery easier.
  • Therapy is a very important component on your road to recovery. Scheduled sessions and follow-through after surgery are recommended.

Why come to ATJS for Hip Replacement Surgery?

Arthritis Total Joint Specialists hip replacement surgeons are among the most skilled surgeons in Georgia and the nation. All surgeons are board-certified and fellowship-trained and many have developed a program with such consistent excellent outcomes that surgeons from around the world visit to learn our protocols.

In addition to their expertise and extensive training, our surgeons are recognized industry leaders often giving keynote talks and are panel experts at joint replacement meetings. They have a singular focus on joint replacement surgery. This experience allows them to achieve very high success rates, avoid complications and help effectively relieve our patients’ pain.

Many of our physicians are listed as Georgia’s Top Doc for Hip and Knee Replacement. We have also been ranked #1 in the Nation for the lowest length of stay and #1 in Georgia for the lowest readmissions. This means that you will get home quickly, but most importantly, safely.

As a patient, you can expect exceptional customer service from the moment you call to make your appointment to close follow up from our team after surgery. Our goal has always been to develop a program that serves the community with the highest standards for outcomes and safety.

To find a physician or request an appointment call 770-292-6500

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Call our office to make an appointment or to refer a patient. 770-292-6500