Total Hip Replacement
Conservative Treatment Options
There are a number of non-surgical, or conservative, treatment options for osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis. Typically, non-surgical options start with gentle exercise and physical therapy. As the arthritis becomes more painful and limiting, the non-surgical treatment options become more involved.
Surgery, including joint replacement, is generally only recommended after all other conservative treatment options fail to provide relief. Always talk to your primary care physician or to your orthopedic surgeon before starting any treatment plan. Your doctors will help you develop a plan that will best fit your specific condition.
The ASI Technique: Reducing Trauma to Your Hip
Minimally invasive hip replacement involves more than just a shorter incision. Modern minimally invasive techniques also focus on the way surgeons gain access to the hip joint. The goal is to minimize muscle and tendon disruption, making surgery less traumatic for patients, allowing for shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries.
Anterior Supine Intermuscular (ASI) Hip Replacement
Unlike traditional minimally invasive hip replacement techniques, the ASI technique uses an incision at the front of the hip instead of the side or back of the hip. This modified incision placement allows surgeons to directly approach the hip joint by going between the muscles that surround the hip joint. Traditional approaches would require cutting the muscles and/or tendons that surround the hip. The ASI minimally invasive hip replacement procedure is designed to reduce the trauma to the tissues surrounding the hip joint. By preserving the muscles and tendons, surgeons may enable their patients to walk the day of surgery, to experience less postoperative pain, and to return to daily activities more quickly.*
How is the Biomet® ASI Technique Unique?
Biomet worked with leading surgeons to develop unique instrumentation to make the ASI approach reproducible for other surgeons. Similar techniques require a special, costly operating fracture table. The ASI technique can be performed on either this special fracture table or on a traditional operating room table. Hundreds of thousands of people undergo total hip replacement every year in the United States. Many patients are not candidates for other minimally invasive hip surgery techniques due to obesity or other considerations. The ASI technique has the advantage of potentially offering a minimally invasive option for patients who would not otherwise be considered for other minimally invasive approaches.
Potential Benefits of the ASI Technique are:*
- Shorter hospital stays
- Earlier mobilization
- Accelerated recovery process
- Less blood loss
Total Hip Replacement
When non-operative treatment fails to control the discomfort and stiffness from arthritis of the hip, your surgeon may recommend total hip replacement. Joint replacement implants, typically made from metal alloy and polyethylene (plastic), are used to resurface the joint. Newer implants with metal sockets are now being used in selective patients. Total hip replacement replaces the upper end of the femur (thighbone) and resurfaces the acetabulum (socket). The implants are designed to restore function and eliminate as much discomfort as possible while allowing you to return to a more active lifestyle.
Rehabilitation and walking begin the day after surgery, and your hospital stay is normally 3 to 4 days. Therapy will begin in the hospital and usually continues after discharge for approximately six to twelve weeks.
Joint replacement surgery of the hip has been extremely successful in helping patients with arthritis return to their normal activities and relieve their discomfort.
Home Preparation for Joint Replacement Surgery
When you and your orthopedic surgeon decide that joint replacement surgery is the best option to relieve pain and restore motion, you will begin the normal preparation for surgery. You should notify your surgeon about any of the medications you are presently taking because some medications must be stopped before surgery. All surgeries carry certain risks and possible complications. Before surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will explain the possible complications. Your orthopedic surgeon may ask you to see your primary care physician to make sure that you do not have any health conditions that may complicate your surgery.
You may be asked to donate blood before your surgery. There are several options regarding blood donation and surgery, and all of these options should be explained to you. Surgery also requires anesthesia.
There may be some options regarding anesthesia and they will be explained to you. Your options will be based on your health history, the medications you presently take, and the results of your physical examination.
Your surgeon may also recommend that you start a strengthening program before surgery. The prescribed exercises are designed to help add strength, flexibility. Strengthening your muscles before surgery can assist your postoperative recovery.
After hip replacement or other joint replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will give you a specific recovery plan that you should carefully follow. Do not attempt exercises that are not prescribed by your surgeon, and do not attempt to alter your recovery schedule. It takes time for your joint to heal properly.
Planning ahead for your return home.
- Launder all of your dirty clothing before your surgery. Have loose, comfortable clothing set aside for your recovery time.
- Prepare single-serving meals before your surgery. These meals can be heated quickly in a microwave and there is less to clean up.
- Be sure to remove loose rugs and other trip hazards such as electrical cords and magazine racks from walking paths to avoid accidents or falls. If necessary, widen furniture paths to accommodate a walker or cane.
- To simplify accessibility, place regularly used items such as remote controls, medications, and reading materials in easy-to-reach locations.
- Un-tuck bedding to allow for easier access in and out of your bed. If your bedroom is on a second floor, it may be helpful to temporarily relocate your sleeping arrangements to a single floor. This will avoid having to climb stairs when you are not feeling your best.
- Having some assistance after total joint replacement can also be very beneficial. Contact family members or friends ahead of time so they may make the necessary arrangements to assist in your recovery.