Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed. It involves the replacement of the damaged hip bone (ball shaped upper end of the femur) with a ceramic ball attached to a metal stem that is fixed into the femur and placing a new cup with a special liner in the pelvis.
Traditionally, the surgery was performed with a large, open incision and required the patient to stay in the hospital for several days. With advanced techniques, it is now possible to perform these surgeries on an outpatient basis where the patient is up and walking a few hours after surgery and goes home on the same day.
Outpatient hip surgeries use the same implants as traditional surgery but involve a smaller incision and newer exposure techniques when compared to the traditional procedures. This type of surgery is less invasive to the tissues and bones and involves a much shorter hospitalization time where the patient can go home the same day.
Benefits of Recovering at Home After Surgery
Recovering at home means leaving the hospital setting and getting to recuperate in the comfort of your home. You will progress better in a familiar home environment where you are more likely to receive good care and a good night’s sleep.
Some of the benefits of recovering at home include:
- Convenience: The convenience of recovering in your home generally makes recovery time easier than an in-hospital stay.
- Reduced stress: You feel isolated in a hospital setting due to lack of social interaction that negatively affects your recovery. At home, family and friends can visit whenever they like and as often as you wish thereby reducing your stress level.
- Effective recovery: Home recovery is just as effective as in-hospital recovery. In fact, studies have found no significant differences in terms of complications, mobility, or pain in a home recovery.
- Safer: Home recovery is much safer compared to hospital stay as you are at risk of developing hospital-acquired infection (HAI) in a hospital setting no matter how sterile a hospital environment is.
Outpatient hip surgeries are mainly targeted at treating the joints damaged by arthritis and injuries. Chronic joint pain due to erosion of cartilage, damage due to accidents and autoimmune diseases, or bone death leading to the destruction of cartilage are also treated with the help of this surgery.
Outpatient hip surgery is designed to allow surgeons to replace the damaged hip bones through a small, minimally invasive approach.
The surgical technique and artificial implants remain the same as traditional hip replacement; the difference is the use of a smaller incision to perform the surgery and minimal soft tissue dissection.
Your surgeon makes a 3-6-inch incision over the side of your hip to expose the hip joint. The muscles are minimally dissected to reach the joint. The femur is dislocated from the acetabulum. The surface of the socket is cleaned and the arthritic bone is removed using a reamer. The acetabular implant is inserted into the socket using screws or special cement. A liner material of plastic, ceramic or metal is placed inside the acetabular component. The femur or thigh bone is then prepared by removing the arthritic bone using special instruments and shaped to exactly fit the new metal femoral component. The femoral stem is then inserted into the femur either by a press fit or using bone cement. Then, the femoral head component made of metal or ceramic is placed on the femoral stem. The new joint is realigned. The muscles and tendons around the new joint are repaired and the incision is closed.
The incision is then closed with stitches that are all buried underneath the skin and dissolve on their own over time. There are no stitches or staples that need to be removed. A waterproof antibacterial band-aid is placed over the incision and keeps it protected for 7 days.
Patients are walking within a few hours of surgery. Patients walk several times the same day as the surgery prior to going home.
Advantages of Outpatient Hip Replacement
The benefits of outpatient hip surgery are:
- Smaller incisions
- Less scarring
- Less blood loss
- Shorter hospitalization
- Early return to work
- Shorter rehabilitation
- Less tissue trauma
Complications of Outpatient Hip Replacement
Complications are very rare and minimized with an experienced surgeon. As with any major surgical procedure, there are certain potential risks and complications involved with total hip replacement surgery. They include:
- Injury to neighboring nerves and blood vessels
- Formation of blood clots in the leg veins
- Implant malposition
- Fracture of the femur or pelvis
If you would like more information about treatment of hip arthritis or would like to learn more about outpatient hip replacement, contact the office of Dr. Charters to schedule an appointment today!