Hip Replacement & Revision

What is a Total Hip Replacement?

A total hip replacement (hip arthroplasty) operation replaces your hip’s damaged ball and socket with an artificial pair made of metal, ceramic or plastic, depending on your unique needs. They can improve your range of motion and significantly decrease pain.

The surgery is performed under a general anesthetic, where you are asleep during the operation. A total hip replacement takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete, depending on how much damage there is to your hip joint.

Who Needs a Total Hip Replacement?

Hip replacements, like all joint replacements, are only utilized as a last resort after a patient has exhausted all other treatment methods. If you still have pain after 4-6 weeks of bracing and physical therapy, you may be a candidate for hip replacement surgery.

The most common risk factors for needing a total hip replacement include:

  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • Chronic joint pain from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Injury to the joint from trauma, fractures, or wear and tear

Postoperative Care for Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Most hip replacement surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you will likely go home the same day. You will need to take it easy for roughly six weeks post-surgery, although low-impact activities may be an option sooner.

During your recovery period, make sure to follow all your doctor’s instructions regarding medication use and self-care. Physical therapy to help rebuild your strength and mobility is very important after surgery, so plan on booking multiple sessions for the weeks immediately following the procedure.

Advances in hip replacement surgery with the addition of robotic devices mean less discomfort and faster recovery times than ever before.  Our team continues to lead the region in the latest technology, including Stryker’s Mako™ Robotic Arm Assisted Surgery.  The system creates a 3D virtual model of the patient’s unique anatomy, allowing the surgeon to plan and perform a completely customized joint replacement.   Precision means a smaller incision that lets you keep more of your healthy bone, speeding recovery more comfortably. Dr. Greg Terral was first to perform Mako™ surgery in Baldwin County, and since then our team has performed hundreds of these procedures.

Anterior Total Hip Replacement

Gulf Ortho has been a pioneer in the newest approach to hip replacement, in fact, Dr. Michael Granberry was the first to bring Anterior Total Hip Replacement surgery to the Mobile area. This technique involves a smaller incision and no cutting of the muscles. Because there is less tissue trauma, recovery is more rapid, and there is less pain immediately after surgery. The procedure takes an hour or less and is performed with a special table and instruments. Usually, the patient walks with the therapist on the day of surgery and may go home the next morning. Same-day discharge is common, or even surgery in an outpatient surgery center.  Dislocation in the early days of recovery is far less common compared to older techniques.   Gulf Ortho’s Fellowship-Trained Total Joint surgeons specialize in the Anterior Total Hip replacement approach and are some of the few in the region offering this technique.

Joint Revision Surgery

Joint replacements are some of the most successful surgeries in medicine and one of the fastest-growing areas of orthopaedics. Today’s implants are designed to last up to 30 years, but at some point, your prosthetic may break or wear out. If you’re overweight or engage in high-impact activities such as running or court sports, the device may fail sooner.

Common issues include:

  • Loosening of the implant
  • Fractures around the prosthetic joint
  • Dislocation
  • Instability
  • Swelling

Hip replacements may fail for several reasons, as friction from normal wear produces debris that causes inflammation in tissues around the joint. Over time, bone erodes, and the implant loosens, leading to pain and loss of function.  Implants may also dislocate – meaning the metal ball slips out of the socket – often within the first few weeks after a hip replacement.

Knee replacements may fail due to loosening over time, wear and tear to the prosthesis components, or in the rarest of cases – infection.

Failed hips and knees must be removed and replaced in a complex revision surgery that poses challenges far beyond the initial replacement, with bone loss that makes the new implant harder to anchor.  More than 90% of patients who undergo revision procedures can anticipate good to excellent results, however, expectations should be realistic depending on each situation.

Dr. Greg Terral is one of the region’s few Fellowship-Trained Joint Reconstruction specialists, with extensive experience over the last 25 years. Dr. Jay Savage and Dr. Grant Zarzour share an equal commitment to patients who may assume there’s no solution for their discomfort and lack of mobility.

If you’ve had difficulty with a prior hip, knee, or shoulder replacement – call Gulf Orthopaedics for a consultation on the potential for total or partial revision surgery.

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