Severe hip pain can interfere with your ease of mobility and significantly affect your quality of life in Kentucky. If you still have these problems after trying all the medications and physical therapy, your orthopedist may suggest total hip replacement surgery. As he or she will advise you, this is a last-resort treatment that will not make you good as new and comes with some serious risks.

The History of Total Hip Replacement

The osteoarthritis section of About.com relates that Sir John Charnley of England developed the first total hip replacement in 1962. In 1969, the first total hip replacement approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was performed.

More than 285,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States. This number is expected to double by 2030, according to an article in the March 6, 2008, issue of Time magazine.

The Replacement Device

The three-piece prosthetic device that replaces the damaged hip joint and is generally used in a total hip replacement consists of:

  • A plastic cup that replaces your acetabulum, or hip socket;
  • A metal ball, which replaces the femoral head; and
  • A metal stem that is attached to the femur shaft.

Other options include ceramic hip replacements and hip resurfacing systems.

Why Consider Hip Replacement?

Pain and lack of mobility in the hip can interfere with just about all daily activities. The various forms of arthritis or a hip injury can cause someone to be unable to get around without some form of mobility aid.

People who are seriously considering hip replacement surgery should have most or all of the following characteristics:

  • Hip pain that affects activities that require walking and bending;
  • Hip pain that persists, even when at rest;
  • Stiffness in the hip joint that affects moving or lifting the leg;
  • Inadequate pain relief from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
  • Inadequate relief from pain medications; and
  • Inadequate improvement from physical therapy and the use of assistive devices and mobility aids.

How Will Hip Replacement Affect Your Life?

The hope with hip replacement is that you get pain relief as well as improved hip function. In the first three months after surgery, the most important consideration is making sure that the new replacement device does not become dislocated; therefore, you will be given very clear instructions on restricting your movements.

You will learn how to move—and how not to move—and you may be provided assistive devices to help with daily activities, such as using the bathroom and dressing. You will have to permanently give up activities such as jogging, contact sports, and high-impact aerobics. Sometimes, even with extreme caution on your part, the replacement device wears down and becomes dislodged, requiring revision surgery.

Possible Complications

All surgical procedures carry the risks of infection, liver toxicity, heart arrhythmias, or pneumonia. The most common complications with hip replacement surgery are blood clots in the leg or pelvic veins that could travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. Other possible problems include the following:

  • Unequal leg length;
  • Dislocation of the prosthetic device;
  • Bleeding;
  • Fracture;
  • Stiffness; and
  • Continuing pain.

If you are running into complications from Kentucky hip replacement surgery, and you are facing more surgeries to correct them, contact the Louisville personal injury lawyers at Gray and White Law. Call 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 and set up a FREE, no-obligation, confidential consultation.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law

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