Total Hip Replacement

Dr Rodda has a special interest in primary (Anterior Minimally Invasive Surgery), hip replacement, complex revision hip replacement surgery and hip fracture management. Dr Rodda’s knowledge, experience and attention to detail and the time he invests with each patient during treatment and post-surgery, are the reasons many Sunshine Coast patients select him as their surgeon of choice.

Total Hip Replacement

Overview

People with hip joint damage that causes pain or interferes with daily activities may be candidates for hip replacement surgery. If you have tried other treatments such as exercise, walking aids or medication without success then you should discuss the option of a total hip replacement with Dr Daevyd Rodda.

A total hip replacement operation is a well-established, long lasting procedure that has been used effectively now for over 40 years and remains the treatment of choice for sufferers of hip arthritis.  The surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of your hip joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts. Hip replacement is a common treatment for severe osteoarthritis.

Total hip replacement is a safe, reliable procedure that can relieve pain and stiffness, and return you to the everyday activities that you enjoy.  Using modern day implants, your hip surgery when performed correctly, should result in a pain free outcome for at least 20-30 years.

Process

The type of anaesthetic used for the procedure varies according to your medical condition. Most patients have the option of receiving a general anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic. Please discuss your preference with Dr Rodda at your consultation.

The hip joint is accessed through an incision approximately 12-15cm long which is centred over the side of the hip and curves gently towards the buttocks.  This causes minimal trauma to the surrounding muscles. The hip is dislocated and the femur bone is cut through its neck to expose both the pelvic and leg sides of the joint.  Depending upon your age and the quality of your bone, either a cemented or cement-free component is fixed to the pelvis and femur.

The ball and socket mechanism of the joint is then reconstructed using either a metal on plastic or ceramic on ceramic, articulation. Computer navigation may be used to ensure that the leg length obtained is correct and the orientation of the components provides the maximum range of motion.

The day after surgery you will be mobile and able to place your full weight on the hip.  You will be aided by a physiotherapist and nursing staff and taught how to safely use a walking frame or crutches.  Usually you are in hospital for around 5-7 days, then discharged home as long as you have sufficient support and are making good progress.

You can usually dispense with your crutches after 4-6 weeks however during this period you should sleep flat on your back, avoid crossing your legs and used a raised seat on the toilet.

Driving is not allowed for 6 weeks after discharge and car travel during this period should be minimised.  These restrictions help avoid the chance of the hip dislocating as the muscles and soft tissues around your hip are still healing.

Benefits, Risks, and FAQs

The main benefits of a successful total hip replacement are:

  • Reduction in hip pain
  • Recovery of mobility
  • Improvement in quality of life.

Risks

There are general risks associated with any surgery, including anaesthetic, blood clots, infection and vascular injury. However specific to this surgery are:

  • Dislocation of the hip prosthesis
  • Leg length inequality
  • Fracture of the pelvis or femur
  • Wear and loosening of the implants
  • Audible ‘squeaking’ of the articulating ceramic components
  • Nerve injury.

FAQs

How long do I need to keep taking the pain medication for?

You should take your analgesics in the recommended dose for as long as you have pain when walking or at night. Most people are able to cease taking painkillers by 4 weeks following surgery.

When can I resume normal activity?

After 6 weeks Dr Rodda will review your progress and if given the all clear, you can return to sport, the gym and other recreational pursuits although it’s not recommended you undertake running or jumping following your hip replacement.

When can I return to work?

You should be able to return to work around 3 months after surgery. This may be extended if you perform heavy manual labour. Please talk to Dr Rodda regarding his recommendation for your personal situation.

When can I resume sexual activity?

You should be able to undertake sexual intercourse 6 weeks after surgery.  If you have any concerns or are having any problems, please discuss this with Dr Rodda.

Do I need physiotherapy when I go home?

You should follow the exercises provided by the hospital physiotherapist however you do not need to visit a physiotherapist once discharged.  A hydrotherapy program may be suggested after your 6 week review.

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