Patients who suffer from chronic pain in one or both hip joints need a veteran specialist like James M. Lee, Jr, MD, with in Orange, New Jersey. The hip is a complex mechanism and replacing the entire joint requires a skilled hand. With the artificial joint safely in place, Dr. Lee develops a rehabilitation program that helps his patients return to their normal lives and be active once again.
For many people, the answer is some form of arthritis such as:
The pain may also result from a traumatic injury of some kind such as a fracture or dislocation. Dr. Lee assesses that joint health to determine the cause. Not all hip pain problems require joint replacement surgery, though. In most cases, Dr. Lee will look for less invasive solutions first and only resort to surgery if they fail.
During hip replacement surgery, Dr. Lee removes the damaged parts of the hip joint and replaces them with prosthetics. The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball sits on the end of the femur, or thigh bone, and the socket is part of the pelvic girdle. One or both of these elements may require replacing. The design of the prosthetic pieces is very similar to the natural joint, so the hip works the same way.
The surgery is performed in one of two ways. Traditional hip replacement surgery is more invasive and requires a large incision. Dr. Lee makes a cut along the side of the hip to expose the joint. This allows him to remove the ball portion of the joint and replace it with an artificial "ball." For a full replacement, he also removes the socket section and installs an artificial one to complete the joint. During the surgery, he can remove or repair any connective tissue that will interfere with the movement of the new joint, as well.
The less-invasive surgery requires two small incisions as opposed to one long cut. The smaller cuts mean:
It's up to Dr. Lee to decide which type of procedure is best suited for each patient.
That depends on a number of factors including the overall health of the patient and any surgical complications such as bleeding or infection. On average, you can expect to require physical therapy for weeks to months after the procedure. It may take up to 12 months to regain full range of motion in that hip.