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Hip Replacement Surgery

Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) specialists recommend hip replacement surgery when there is no cartilage left in the joint and you are experiencing debilitating pain.

Loss of cartilage can be caused by:

  • Arthritis
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Injury

When to Consider Surgery

If you can no longer participate in your favorite activities or perform the functions of your daily life, it’s time to consider hip replacement surgery.

Before Surgery

The first step is to schedule an office visit with a member of the MVH team. Your physician will conduct a thorough evaluation that includes:

  • X-rays
  • Discussion of your current challenges and goals
  • A review of the benefits and risks of surgery

Patients must attend the MVH Total Joint Class taught by experienced clinical nurses and physical therapists. You will learn about all aspects of hip replacement surgery, including pain management and therapy expectations after the procedure. Many patients find that being empowered with this information helps to alleviate their anxiety about the surgery.

During Surgery

Miami Valley Hospital surgeons use a direct anterior approach to hip replacement. This minimally invasive procedure results in less pain and faster recovery than traditional surgery. Traditional hip replacement requires the surgeon to cut through muscle, while the anterior hip procedure uses an incision that avoids muscle tissue.

Benefits of anterior hip surgery include:

  • Faster recovery
  • Fewer post-surgery limitations, such as not bending the hip
  • Less pain
  • Reduced risk of dislocation

Anterior hip procedures involve the use of the hana® table. This is a special table that features unique bars and a lift to allow your surgeon to rotate your leg during surgery, rather than having your leg lie flat.

We do not use staples to close your incisions after surgery, which helps to further reduce the risk for infection following your hip replacement. This also means that you will not need to schedule a follow-up visit to have your staples or sutures removed.

Pain Management

MVH takes a comprehensive approach to pain management that includes:

  • Spinal anesthesia – helps reduce blood loss and pain
  • Nerve blocks – (also known as fascia iliaca) provide pain control around the hip after surgery
  • Multi-modal control – includes the use of narcotics and anti-inflammatory medications to help prevent pain

After surgery, patients are given only oral pain medications.

Risks and Complications

Although hip replacement surgery can provide many benefits, every surgery has the risk for complications. We encourage you to learn about the possible complications associated with surgery and to discuss any questions you may have with your physician. At MVH, every possible precaution is taken to minimize risks and promote positive outcomes.

Possible complications of hip replacement surgery may include:

  • Infection – We give our patients antibiotics before, during and after surgery to prevent infections. We also treat the skin with antiseptic and screen every patient for infection risks before surgery. Infections are avoided in 99 percent of surgery patients.
  • Blood Loss – We use tranexamic acid (a medication that helps blood to clot) to help prevent blood loss during surgery. Less than 5 percent of patients require a blood transfusion during or after surgery.
  • Dislocation – We monitor every patient very closely before, during and after surgery to prevent the risk of dislocation. We evaluate ambulatory functioning (ability to walk) at each follow-up visit to ensure that dislocation does not occur.

After Surgery

Most patients remain in the hospital for one to three days following hip replacement surgery. Three follow-up visits are needed—at 10 days, six weeks and three months. You will also participate in physical therapy, as determined by your surgeon.

More than 90 percent of all MVH patients go home immediately following surgery and do not require therapy.

Recovery Time

In six weeks, you should be 70 to 80 percent recovered from your surgery. Depending on the type of work you do, you can usually return to your job at the six week mark. Most patients are fully recovered in three months.

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