Hip replacement

Hip replacement surgery (also called “hip arthroplasty”) is a common procedure performed at St. Charles Bend that removes a diseased or damaged hip joint and replaces it with an artificial joint. The new, artificial joint will allow you to bend and move your hip without pain.

Why it is performed

The orthopedic doctors at St. Charles use hip replacement to treat severe hip joint damage from injuries, arthritis or infections.

Your doctor may recommend hip replacement if:

  • Hip pain or stiffness limits your daily activities.
  • You have hip pain even at rest.
  • X-rays show severe joint damage with loss of cartilage and bone.
  • Other treatments like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, joint injections or less invasive surgeries haven’t worked.

What to expect

Your surgeon will make an incision in the hip to remove damaged cartilage and bone, and replace it with plastic or metal surfaces.

You may spend several days in the hospital, but increasingly knee replacements can be completed with a short hospital stay or even as a same-day, outpatient surgery. It all depends on your personal medical condition and these expectations should be discussed with your surgeon. Some people also need time in a rehabilitation center and physical therapy may be part of your recovery. Gradually, you’ll regain hip function with less pain. It will probably be 8 to 12 weeks before you’re feeling back to normal. Full recovery can take up to a year.

Prior to your procedure, your orthopedic surgeon’s office will have given you detailed information about how to set up your home environment for recovery. You will go home with a walker and will need assistance to perform activities of daily living (such as going to the bathroom, bathing and dressing) for several days after you get home. If you do not have a family member to assist you, you should arrange for professional caregivers.

You will also receive detailed instructions regarding incision care, physical therapy and follow-up appointments.

How your everyday life may be different

Most people enjoy a return to activities they were no longer able to do before surgery. The vast majority of hip replacements still function well 15 years after surgery. You can help extend the life of your artificial hip by:

  • Avoiding contact sports and high-impact activities
  • Exercising regularly to strengthen and stabilize your hip
  • Learning how to lift heavy weights properly without overloading your joint
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Your surgeon will discuss specific limitations with you.

Anterior hip replacement

The anterior hip replacement approach is a minimally invasive surgery technique that uses a small incision along the front of the hip.

Why anterior hip replacement is performed

The anterior approach of hip replacement avoids disrupting muscle tissue that normally stabilizes the hip. This minimally invasive approach typically results in less pain and faster recovery. An anterior incision also is easier to care for after surgery because you can easily see it (as compared to a traditional hip replacement).

What to expect

Anterior hip replacement is typically performed in a hospital and requires a stay of one or two nights.

Anterior hip replacement surgery takes a few hours to complete. You will wake in a recovery area and stay for an hour or two before being transferred to your room on an orthopedic floor with specially trained nurses. You probably will begin physical therapy in the hospital the very next morning.

Recovery after hip replacement

Most people go home within one or two days of their anterior hip replacement surgery.

Many people experience pain relief immediately upon waking up from surgery after anterior hip replacement. After the initial three-month recovery period, you likely will be able to once again enjoy all the activities you had to give up due to your hip trouble.

For more information about joint replacement at St. Charles, call 541-706-4922.

From X-rays and physical therapy to total hip replacements, St. Charles Health System offers Central Oregon a wide range of orthopedic services.