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Informing Yourself About Hip Replacement

There are more than 193,000 hip replacements done every year in the United States alone. When a procedure is this common, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of information that’s out there about the operation and recovery. Western Pennsylvania Orthopedic and Sports Medicine can help you sort out the facts. From the initial reasons for hip replacement through the surgery and all the way to the recovery, it’s important to get the right information, from experienced specialists.

Many medical problems can cause hip dysfunction and the potential need for a hip replacement. The most common of these is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage between two bones breaks down and the two bones rub against each other. This can create growths of bone, called spurs that lead to agonizing joint pain. Another common reason is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is when the immune system attacks the membrane that lines a joint, causing pain. An orthopedic specialist can advise you on whether hip replacement is right for you and if it’s the right time, especially if painful symptoms are interfering with everyday life, or if previous treatment options haven’t been successful.

For the procedure itself there are different surgical techniques available, some traditional and some less invasive. Regardless of what methods will be used, hip replacement surgery should be discussed with a trusted medical professional beforehand. The surgeon’s goal is to remove worn-down pieces of cartilage and replace them with a new joint. The new joint is usually a combination of hard metal, tough plastic and resilient ceramic.


After the surgery is done, it’s customary to rest in a medical facility for three or four days. During this initial stage of your recovery, you will begin physical therapy to help you use your new joint. You will be seeing the physical therapist multiple times per day to help get you moving. When you go home you will still continue to see a physical therapist, but likely not every day. You will probably be able to drive after an average of three to six weeks (or longer), so make sure you have access to what you need beforehand. Three to six weeks is also the average time before you can resume work, too. However, this number varies depending on many factors, and every person takes a different amount of time to heal.


While the process may seem frightening, in the end your pain level and mobility will be greatly improved after hip replacement surgery. It is possible to get relief and get back to a normal life. The orthopedic surgeons at Western Pennsylvania Orthopedic and Sports Medicine are highly trained in hip surgery techniques. If you are in the West-Central Pennsylvania area, call us at (814) 255-6781 to ask about scheduling an appointment. Make the changes you need in your life today.