Hip Replacement

This year, approximately 100,000 people will undergo a hip replacement. This seems like a high number but with an ageing population and increasing numbers of falling incidents, this number is likely to rise. In most cases, a hip replacement is required in 2 major categories

  1. Non traumatic Cases
  2. Traumatic Cases following a fall causing fractures

Non traumatic cases can involve joint osteoarthritis, joint infections, genetic abnormalities or internal issues in the hip such as cartilage tears or the effects of dysplasia in the hip (abnormal shape of the hip bone) from childhood.

In most cases, hip replacements are only performed in the older population. The average age for males being 68 years old and for females 73 years old.

Types of surgery

There are two main types of hip replacement surgeon’s can use and the technique used is typically down to the surgeon’s preference:

  • Anterior approach – The incision is made in the outside of the hip on the front side
  • Posterior approach – The incision is made on the back of the hip thru the muscles in the back of the hip

Both techniques have the pro’s and con’s which you can discuss with your physiotherapist.

Things to consider Prior to Surgery

  • Prehabilitation
    “Prehab” is a new concept in pre surgery preparation. Basically, physiotherapy prior to surgery will allow you to be as strong as possible prior to surgery to give you the best start to your rehabilitation post surgery. New research is starting to emerge showing better early stage rehabilitation results post surgery. Prehab also allows you to prepare yourself mentally and to learn early stage exercises which will be imperative in early recover.
  • Post surgery time frame
    Everybody recovers at a different rate. Most people expect to be better in a very short time however recovery requires patience. You can discuss recovery rates and time frames with your physiotherapist pre and post surgery so you can have an idea of what to expect.
  • Pain Relief is key
    Make sure you have adequate pain relief post surgery to allow you to be as comfortable as you can be. It’s especially important to have good pain relief just prior to your physio session to allow you to get the most out of it

So remember the key points, get as much information about your rehabilitation time frames and goals, complete “prehab” to be as physically and mentally ready as possible and make sure your pain relief is adequate.