Hip replacement is recommended to people who have complications such as pain, limited mobility and decreased ability to do daily activities. Pain may be caused due to wearing down of the hip joint that is caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic inflammatory disease that causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling), avascular necrosis (loss of bone caused by insufficient blood supply) or injury and bone tumors that may lead to breakdown of the hip joint.
A total hip replacement is a surgery that removes the ball of the upper thighbone (femur) and damaged cartilage from the hip socket. A metal ball is fixed solidly inside the femur in place of the original ball. The socket is replaced with a plastic or metal liner that is mostly fixed inside a metal shell. This creates a smoothly functioning joint that does not hurt.
Post hip replacement surgery, you will need a high toilet seat for at least 3 months. Also it is recommended to have a long-handled shoe horn, sock aid, reacher or grabber and a dressing stick to aid in dressing. You may also require a bath seat or grab bars in the bathroom.
All high-impact activities including running, singles tennis, and basketball are prohibited. Injury-prone sports like downhill skiing are also restricted. Post hip replacement you will be restricted form crossing your legs, twisting operated leg, bending the operated leg at 90 degrees at the hip or twisting side-to-side.
Post hip replacement you may find that the leg with the new hip may be longer than before. This may be because of previous shortening due to the hip disease or because of a need to lengthen the hip to avoid dislocation. Most patients get used to this feeling with time or they can use a small lift/orthoses in the other shoe. Some patients may experience aching in the thigh on weight bearing for a few months after surgery.
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