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Total Replacement Of Hip, Ambulatory Care

What do I need to know about total hip replacement?

Total hip replacement is surgery to replace a hip joint damaged by wear, injury, or disease. It is also called total hip arthroplasty. The hip joint is where the top of your femur (thigh bone) sits in the socket of your pelvic bone. The joint is held together by ligaments and muscles. The top of your femur is shaped like a ball and covered with cartilage. Cartilage is a tissue that helps joints move.


How do I prepare for total hip replacement?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may need x-rays of your spine, pelvis, or legs. This will help your healthcare provider plan your surgery. Ask about any tests you may need. Remove rugs, obstacles, and hazards to walking in your home.

What will happen during total hip replacement?

You will be given medicine to keep you asleep during surgery. An incision will be made on the front side of your hip. The ball of your femur and the damaged cartilage in the socket of your pelvis will be removed with medical tools. The hip implant will be fitted to replace the bones that were removed. Screws or medical cement will be used to secure the implant. A drain may be placed to remove extra blood and fluids from the surgery area. Your incision will be closed with stitches or staples and covered with a bandage.

What are the risks of total hip replacement?

  • You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may be allergic to the anesthesia and have trouble breathing. Your nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, or muscles may be damaged during surgery. You may have more hip pain, or your hip joint may become stiff or numb. Your joint movement may not be as stable as it was before your surgery. Your legs may not be the same length. You may have bone loss, or bones near the implant area may break or crack.
  • Your implant may get loose or move out of place. If this happens, you may need another surgery to replace the implant. You may also need surgery to remove infected tissues. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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