A complete history and physical examination allows the physician to determine any correlation between symptoms of pain with past history and demands that have been placed upon the hip. The physician will inquire about experiencing episodes of trauma or instability, and examine the ligaments and hip alignment.
X-rays are used to determine the extent of degeneration to the cartilage or bone and may suggest a cause for the degeneration of the hip joint.
Hip replacement can benefit individuals suffering from a variety of hip problems resulting from either wear and tear from a lifetime of activity or from disease and injury. Some of the common hip problems leading to a hip replacement are:
A hip replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces the painful hip joint with an artificial hip joint.
In a hip replacement, the head of the femur (the bone that extends from the hip to the knee) is removed along with the surface layer of the socket in which it rests (called the acetabulum).
Here are some reliable sources that can provide more information on knee replacement:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Physical Therapy Association
Phone: 800/999-APTA (2782)
Here are definitions of medical terms related to knee replacement:
ambulating: To walk from place to place; move about
arthroplasty: An artificial joint or implant
articular cartilage: The smooth lining that covers and protects the bone ends inside a joint
avascular necrosis: Tissue death resulting from inadequate blood supply to the affected part of a bone
Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to knee replacement:
Here are some frequently asked questions related to knee replacement:
Q: How soon following total knee replacement should I be able to progress to walking independently?
A: The speed with which a person is able to discontinue the use of crutches, walker or cane varies from individual to individual. The majority of people require only a cane after six weeks, although others may need more time to progress and soon after become independent of any assistive device.
Q: How soon can one drive again after total knee replacement?
Contact your doctor:
- If there is unrelenting significant pain in the knee.
- If the surgical incision becomes warm, red, or appears to have an opening or drainage.
- If swelling persists/increases.
- If either of the calf regions become swollen and painful or tender to the touch.
- If you become generally warm and ill feeling.
- If chest pain or coughing develop without cause or reason.
- The most significant feature following total knee replacement is relief from long-standing pain of arthritis.
- Most individuals proclaim they have dramatically improved by about six weeks, however progress continues well beyond that point.
Here are several guidelines to follow when returning to work and recreational activities:
Immediately after surgery there may be mild discomfort due to the operation itself. Pain medication is given to lessen any pain. However, the pain rapidly subsides and the person notices that they no longer suffer from the longstanding pain of arthritis they have endured for so many years
The healing phase will last approximately three months. During this time the mobility of the knee increases, the discomfort lessens, and ultimately the knee becomes pain free.