Hip replacement, sometimes also called total hip replacement or hip arthroplasty, is a surgery to replacement the ball-and-socket part of the hip with synthetic parts, mostly for pain relief from hip arthritis or other hip conditions.

What is Hip Replacement?

During this procedure, muscles and tendons are split from the hip and the implants made of metal and plastic will replace the damaged bone and cartilage. If two incisions are made in the procedure, your doctor may use x-rays as a guide.

Types of Hip Replacement

At OrthoNebraska, we perform total hip replacements from both the front (anterior) and the back (posterior). The posterior approach has been the favored approach for a long time with great long-term clinical results, while the anterior approach is growing in popularity. Long-term, studies have shown no significant difference in outcomes with either approach, so the correct approach is a matter of individual physician and patient preference. As a destination for joint replacement, OrthoNebraska believes in the approach that works best for each individual patient. If you feel strongly about a particular approach, please let us know when you make an appointment.

Who should have a Hip Replacement?

Total hip replacements may be needed due to bone or cartilage damage from arthritis, fractures, or other circumstances. Total hip replacements are an effective method of treatment and offer many patients pain relief and allows them to return back to their everyday activities. When you have constant pain during daily activities and other nonsurgical treatments like aspirin or injections no longer provide good enough pain relief, it’s probably a good time to consider surgery.

Does a Hip Replacement work?

This surgery is considered the gold standard for relief from hip pain. Still, this surgery should not be undertaken lightly as it takes about a year to see the fully recover to the point you can be more active than before surgery. The good news is that OrthoNebraska has been recognized as a destination for hip replacement based on our shorter length of stays, low infection rates, our nurse-to-patient ratio and other factors. At OrthoNebraska, we excel at getting people moving again after total hip replacement surgery. It’s what we do.

What can I expect when I have a Hip Replacement?

After you schedule surgery at OrthoNebraska Hospital, a nurse navigator will reach out to you and encourage you to come to a pre-surgical joint class. This class will fully prepare you for surgery and allow you to ask any questions you might have. Some example of things we will encourage you to do:

  • Plan on having some help at home for the first few weeks after your procedure
  • Plan ahead at home and think about ways to make maneuvering around your house and kitchen easier
  • Make sure all handrails are secure and that loose cords are tucked away to prevent falling

You may need a pre-surgical physical to make any necessary accommodations based on your health history. When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll speak to your surgeon and anesthesiologist. You are likely to put to sleep (general anesthesia) and be placed face up for the procedure. The procedure generally takes a few hours and you should expect to stay in the hospital a few days after the surgery.

After you are settled in your room, your physical therapist and nurse navigator will work with you and your doctor each day, helping you walk and accomplish daily motions that are necessary for your independence. Plan on being fairly dependent on a loved one for the next few weeks.

Once you leave the hospital, your physical therapist will help you progress, along with the home exercises and packet your nurse navigator will have given you. Most patients go to therapy two or three times per week for the first few weeks.

Time off from work is typically about four to six weeks for office workers. Full recovery may take about a year, dependent on your general health and dedication to measured progress in therapy.