Hip Replacement Surgery and Post-op Arrangements

A Hip Replacement Surgery is a surgery to treat persistent pain due to Hip Osteoarthritis, which is a progressive degeneration of the hip joint. Osteoarthritis causes pain and disability and markedly reduces the patient's Quality-of-Life. A Hip Replacement Surgery is the most successful surgery in Orthopaedics with satisfaction rates of about 97% to 98%. 

In certain cases, a hip replacement may be done for elderly patients who suffer a hip fracture. Rather than repairing the fracture, a hip replacement allows immediate walking and ​much faster recovery.

How long does a Hip Replacement last?

Statistics show that modern Hip Replacement implants last at least 15 years in 85% to 95% of cases. The vast majority of patients will have to undergo this surgery only once in their lifetime.

Hip Replacement Implants

The metal components are usually made of titanium coated with Hydroxy-Apatite, with an in-between layer of Polyethylene. 

Can I squat after Hip Replacement?

Even though some patients do discover that they can squat after surgery, we will advise you not to squat, as squatting carries a risk of the implant dislocating, and also puts increased pressures on the implant, increasing the risk of implant loosening.

 

Before Hip Replacement surgery

You will undergo blood tests, a Chest Xray, and a heart Electrocardiogram to make sure you are fit for surgery. These tests will be done within one month before surgery, and are done at our clinic/hospital.

 

We will also instruct you on the medications that you should or should not continue before your surgery.

 

Surgery

On the day of surgery, you will admit to the designated hospital at least 2 hours before the surgery time. The actual surgery takes about 2 hours, but patients will be in the Operating Theatre for 3 to 4 hours. This is due to the pre-op preparation and post-op monitoring. 

On the day after surgery, physiotherapy can start and the patient can start ambulating with a Walking Frame. Physiotherapy will continue daily while the patient is in hospital.

For Total Hip Replacement, most patients stay about 4 to 5 days in hospital. 

Hip Replacement Recovery

On discharge, the hospital will supply the Walking Frame. Most patients use the walking frame for the first 3 to 4 weeks and then switch to a walking stick or quad stick thereafter. Patients may use the stick for up to 1.5 months after surgery. Full recovery is about 3 to 6 months.

Time away from work is variable and depends on each patient's work requirement. In our experience, it may range from 1 month to 3 months.

After surgery, the hip will have a waterproof bandage on it. For the first 2 weeks, it is best to shower seated. Also, it is best to have a caretaker for the first 2 weeks after surgery. If you have stairs at home, you should minimise going up and down the stairs, and have someone to assist you if you need to do so.​

For patients with no available caretaker, one option is for the patient to discharge to a step-down care facility, ie a nursing/rehabilitative centre. Patients may stay there for about 2 to 3 weeks followed by discharge to home.
 

Follow-up Appointments will generally follow this time-line:

First appointment 2 weeks after surgery, then 

One month later, then

1.5 months later, then

3 months later.

Subsequent follow-ups will depend on each patient's condition.

 

Partial Hip Replacement, only on one side of the joint

Total Hip Replacement, on both sides of the joint

A highly complex Right Total Hip Replacement; the thigh bone has been replaced with prosthesis with the addition of a trochanter fixation plate

Walking Frame

© Centurion Ortho 2020. Clinical images from Dr Ang CL.