Total Hip Replacement in Fort Worth
Is Hip Replacement Surgery Right for You?
The orthopedic surgeons at Medical City Fort Worth are medical doctors with extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment (both surgical and nonsurgical) of disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Each member of the team will be happy to discuss whether hip replacement surgery offers you the best chance for permanent pain relief and improved mobility.
Your Medical City Fort Worth surgeon will explain the potential risks and complications of hip replacement surgery − including those related to the surgery itself and those that can occur over time.
Consideration may also be given to treating your problem with an anti–inflammatory medication, physical therapy, vitamins, or some type of surgery other than full replacement.
What to Expect from Hip Replacement Surgery
Crucial to your decision about whether to have hip replacement surgery is having a good grasp of what the procedure can and cannot do.
Most patients who undergo hip replacement surgery experience pain relief and a significant improvement in their ability to perform everyday tasks. The most frequent benefit from surgery is decreased pain in the hip.
Following surgery, you will be advised to avoid certain activities, including jogging and high-impact sports, for the rest of your life. You may be asked to avoid flexing the joint in a way that could lead to dislocation.
Any artificial joint will undergo a certain amount of wear over time. If you participate in high-impact activities or are overweight, this wear may accelerate and cause the implant to loosen and become painful.
Preparing for Surgery
If you decide to have hip replacement surgery, you may be asked to have a complete physical examination by your primary–care doctor before your surgical procedure. If needed, Medical City Fort Worth can recommend a physician to perform this evaluation. The exam is required to evaluate and review your health, identify conditions that can interfere with your surgery or recovery, and review medical tests.
Preparing Your Skin
Your skin should not be infected or otherwise irritated before surgery. If either condition is present, your surgeon at Medical City Fort Worth will recommend a skin improvement program for you to follow.
You may be advised to donate your own blood prior to surgery. It will be stored in the event you need blood after surgery.
Tell your Medical City Fort Worth surgeon about the medications you are taking, including any herbal or home remedies you use. Either he/she or your primary–care doctor will advise you which ones you should stop or can continue taking before surgery.
If you are overweight, you may be asked to lose some weight before surgery to minimize the stress on your new hip and possibly decrease the risks of surgery.
One of the ways bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause an infection is through a dental procedure. It is, therefore, wise to get any needed dental work taken care of well in advance of your hip–replacement surgery. After surgery, routine cleaning of your teeth should be delayed for several weeks.
If you have a history of urinary infections, or are an older man with prostate disease, you should be evaluated by an urologist before having hip replacement surgery.
Although you will be able to walk with crutches or a walker soon after surgery, for several weeks you will need help with routine tasks such as cooking, shopping, bathing, and doing laundry. If you live alone, a Medical City Fort Worth case manager will help you make advance arrangements to have someone assist you at home. A short stay in an extended–care facility may also be arranged.
Prior to your being admitted to the hospital the day of your surgery, a member of Medical City Fort Worth’s anesthesia team will evaluate you. The anesthesia team will discuss your options and help you decide which type of anesthesia is best for you.
The surgical procedure itself takes a few hours. Your surgeon will remove the damaged cartilage and bone and then position new metal, plastic, or ceramic joint surfaces to restore the alignment and function of your hip.
Many different designs and materials are currently used in artificial hip joints. Your Medical City Fort Worth surgeon will choose the one that best meets your needs.
Whatever the specifics of their design, all artificial hips consist of two basic components. One is the ball component, made of a strong and highly polished metal or ceramic material. The socket component, which is implanted in the pelvis, is a durable cup made of metal, with a ceramic, metal, or plastic liner.
Special surgical cement may be used to fill the gap between the implant and the remaining natural bone to secure the artificial joint. However, most of the hip replacements performed at Medical City Fort Worth do not require cement.
The implants without cement have been developed for younger, more active patients with strong bone. The implant may be coated with textured metal or a special bone-like substance, which encourages new bone to grow into it.
After surgery, you will be moved to the recovery room where you will remain for one to two hours while your recovery from anesthesia is monitored. After you awaken fully, you will be taken to a private room.
Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement
Over the past five years, the orthopedic surgeons at Medical City Fort Worth have been very active in the development of new, minimally invasive techniques for inserting total hip replacement implants through smaller incisions.
Numerous clinical studies (some of them performed at Medical City Fort Worth) suggest that these minimally invasive approaches may allow for a quicker, less painful surgery, and a more rapid return to normal activities.
Your Medical City Fort Worth surgeon will be happy to talk to you about his own experience with minimally invasive hip–replacement surgery and the possible risks and benefits. Not all patients are good candidates for the less invasive techniques.
Your Stay at Medical City Fort Worth
Your stay at Medical City Fort Worth will probably last several days. After surgery, you will feel some pain in your hip. Pain medication will be given to make you as comfortable as possible.
Walking and light activity are important to your recovery and will begin either the same day as your surgery, or the day after. Most patients who undergo total hip replacement begin standing and walking with support and the assistance of a physical therapist the day after surgery.
The physical therapist will teach you specific exercises to strengthen your hip and restore movement for walking and other normal daily activities.
Blood clots in the leg veins or pelvis are a potential complication following hip replacement surgery. Your surgeon at Medical City Fort Worth will place you on a regimen of blood–thinning medications, support hose, and other proven methods that help prevent such clots from forming.
To maximize the likelihood of a successful outcome, closely follow your Medical City Fort Worth orthopedic surgeon’s instructions during the first few weeks after surgery.
You will have stitches or staples running along the wound or a suture beneath your skin. The stitches or staples will be removed approximately two weeks after surgery.
Avoid getting the wound wet until it has thoroughly sealed and dried. A bandage may be placed over the wound to prevent irritation from clothing and/or the support stockings.
Some loss of appetite is common for several weeks after surgery. A balanced diet, often with an iron supplement, is important to promote proper tissue healing and restore muscle strength. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. It is also important to eat plenty of protein as this has been proven to accelerate healing after surgery.
Critical to a successful recovery from surgery is exercise, particularly during the first few weeks after discharge. You should be able to resume most everyday tasks anywhere from three to six weeks following joint replacement.
A fall during the first few weeks after surgery can damage your new hip and may result in the need for more surgery. You should use a cane, crutches, walker, or handrails and/or have someone help you until your balance, flexibility, and strength improve. Your Medical City Fort Worth surgeon will recommend the gait–assistance device that best meets your needs.
Don’t neglect to see your Medical City Fort Worth orthopedic surgeon periodically for routine follow-up examinations and x–rays, even if your hip replacement seems to be doing fine. Our staff will be there for all your postsurgical care.
We wish you great success with your new hip joint!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most common reasons for undergoing total hip replacement?
The people most likely to benefit from total hip replacement are those for whom hip pain continues while resting, and constantly interferes with their ability to perform ordinary activities such as walking and bending. Other strong indications for surgery include an inability to obtain pain relief from standard anti–inflammatory medications, or from the use of a gait–assistive device such as a cane.
What are the advantages of a minimally invasive approach to total hip replacement?
The orthopedic surgeons at Medical City Fort Worth have observed shorter hospital stays and more rapid rehabilitation in the majority of patients treated using minimally invasive techniques. Some have been discharged from the hospital after only 24 hours, setting the stage for a quicker return to work and normal activity.
Who is a good candidate for ‘mini–incision’ total hip replacement?
The ideal candidate is someone who suffers from osteoarthritis of the hip, but is otherwise in excellent health and remains fairly active. Orthopedic surgeons at Medical City Fort Worth have performed the procedure on patients as young as age 35, but most are 55 and older.
Who should probably not have a ‘mini–incision’ procedure?
Such procedures are contraindicated in those with marked deformity of the hip joint, those who are significantly overweight, and those with other health problems that hinder wound healing.