What You Should Know Before Getting a Hip Replacement
What Is Hip Replacement Surgery?
Arthroplasty, the medical term for what is commonly known as hip replacement, is a type of surgery. It involves the replacement of hip parts that are damaged, worn or are diseased with artificial parts, called a prosthesis. The surgical team at Almater Hospital in Mexicali, Mexico, is highly experienced with hip-replacement surgery.
Why Are Hip Replacements Needed?
To understand arthroplasty, it’s necessary to understand how the hip joint works. The hip joint is where the femur (the upper bone of the leg) meets the hipbone. Imagine a ball in a socket and you’ll understand how the hip works. When the hip is functioning properly, the part where the femur and the hipbone touch is cushioned by smooth cartilage, which protects both bones from wear.
This joint allows us to move our legs with great flexibility while protecting our bones at the same time. It’s the hip that allows us to walk, run, sit and jump, etc. However, age, diseases and accidents can damage the hip joint or the bones in the zone, leading to pain and limited movement. The main causes for hip damage are:
- Hip fractures
- Muscle or tendon strain
- Avascular necrosis
When Is a Hip Replacement Needed?
Only a doctor can answer that question. However, some signs that indicate that you might need a hip replacement are:
- Because a decrease in the level of pain or its elimination would greatly improve your quality of life.
- Because you’ve lost or are in risk of losing mobility.
- Because it’s getting harder for you to do your day-to-day activities.
However, you probably should not get a hip replacement in the following cases:
- You can do your day-to-day activities with no problem.
- Your pain is gradually disappearing.
- Your mobility is gradually improving.
- You haven’t tried simpler or more conservative treatments.
- The only activities you can’t perform are rare or extreme, e.g. scuba diving.
Can I Travel by Plane or by Car If I Need a Hip Replacement?
At Almater Hospital, we have the necessary highly qualified staff and state-of-the-art equipment to make your hip replacement a success and to improve your quality of life. In most cases, traveling by plane or by car is not an issue, although we recommend that someone else drive if you’re coming by car.
Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that you avoid travel and seek immediate local attention in the following cases:
- The pain showed up suddenly, and it’s intense.
- The pain started right after a fall or another accident.
- The joint or hip is bleeding or looks deformed.
- The pain is unbearable.
- The hip made a cracking or popping noise when the accident happened.
- The hip makes a cracking or popping noise when you move.
- You can’t stand up at all.
In these cases, you’re probably dealing with an emergency and should seek medical attention immediately.