Hip replacement surgery
As a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, one of the most common operations I carry out is total hip replacement surgery. This is a very good operation with consistently high patient satisfaction, and I have been privileged to see the very real difference it has made to many people over the years I have been providing it.
Your hip is a strong, deep joint. It is known as a ball and socket joint because the head of the thigh bone (the femur) sits inside the ‘socket’ of the pelvis (known as the acetabulum).
In a healthy hip, the bones move freely over and around one another as they move. When there is a problem with the hip, movement within the joint can become painful, sometimes severely so and this can cause all kinds of difficulties and challenges.
The most common cause of ongoing hip pain is osteoarthritis, a degenerative form of arthritis. There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, although treatments are available to help manage the pain. Trauma or injury can also cause hip pain.
Often, hip pain can be successfully managed through non-surgical means, such as pain relief medication, physiotherapy or corticosteroid injections. Other times, the problem may be significant enough that the hip joint itself is worn out and needs replacing. This is when total hip replacement surgery would be appropriate.
As the name suggests, hip replacement surgery replaces the natural (damaged, worn out) hip joint with an artificial one.
During the operation, I will make a small cut on the side of your hip, remove the damaged surfaces of the femoral head and acetabulum and replace them with an artificial prosthesis (this will be made of either metal, plastic, ceramic or a combination of these materials).
It is a big operation, and you will need to spend a few days at Circle afterwards. During this time, the physiotherapy team will show you how to move safely using a walking frame and crutches, so that you have confidence to move around once you are back home.
We are normally able to discharge patients after two nights, sometimes earlier. Patients mobilise better and are more comfortable at home, so you won't be in hospital for any longer than necessary.
As somebody who is passionate about successful hip replacements, I know how important it is to get quality aftercare such as pain relief, physiotherapy etc. At Circle, this is all provided for you and we will be there with you throughout your recovery to ensure you receive the best possible outcome from the surgery.
We all like to have our own independence. When something threatens our independence – like serious, chronic hip pain – it can be a real cause of worry.
Many of the people who come to see me for a consultation about hip pain tell me of their concern about losing their independence. They want to be able to continue with their current lifestyle, able to enjoy hobbies and regular activities. They are often quite worried about the future and may even be thinking about moving into a care home in the near future.
Hip replacement surgery can take away chronic hip pain and improve mobility. I always tell people that it's one of the most successful operation there is. It has an incredibly high patient satisfaction rate and the complication profile is low.
Some patients have described the operation to me as life-changing; they have been able to regain their independence, often experiencing a new lease of life as a result of their improved mobility and lack of pain.
Hip replacement surgery is a significant operation and will take time to fully recover from. We are normally able to discharge patients after two nights, sometimes earlier. Patients mobilise better and are more comfortable at home, so you won't be in hospital for any longer than necessary.
Our Circle physiotherapy team will help you regain strength, movement and function safely and effectively and I will see you again 6 weeks after the surgery to assess and review your recovery and healing.
At this point, most people are able to start driving again and are usually walking well without sticks or crutches. They often tell me how pleased they are they decided to have the surgery, and how liberating they are finding it to be free of chronic hip pain.
Having a new (artificial) hip joint can make a real difference to the quality of life. It can eliminate debilitating hip pain and restore good mobility once again.
If you are suffering from hip pain, why not book a consultation with me here at Circle? I am highly experienced in treating hip pain and am involved in teaching trainee surgeons on both local and national courses.
Whatever the hip problem you're struggling with and the extent of the problems you're experiencing, I can help. From your first consultation with me, my focus will be on getting you out of pain, treated effectively and back to good hip health and function.
It's easy to book a consultation with me at Circle. Just contact my private secretary who will be able to schedule you in for a time that's most convenient for you.