Hip replacement surgery is an increasingly common procedure for those living with chronic hip pain and mobility issues. More and more people are opting for this life-changing surgery to improve their quality of life. While hip replacement surgery is a major decision, knowing what you’re getting into can help make things go as smoothly as possible.

The Conditions leading to a Hip Replacement Surgery

The most common condition that leads to hip replacement surgery is osteoarthritis which usually affects people over the age of 50. It can, however, occur at any age. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that slowly wears away at the cartilage that protects the ends of bones. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility in the affected joint. Other conditions that may lead to hip replacement surgery include rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, and hip fractures.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that can damage any joint in the body but most commonly affects the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, shoulders and hips. The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can lead to joint pain, stiffness and eventually deformity as well as bone erosion.
Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a condition where there is a loss of blood supply to the bone. This can cause the bone to die (necrosis). AVN usually affects bones in the hip but can also affect other bones such as those in the shoulder or knee.

A first-hand account of Hip Replacement Surgery.

Iron man athlete and father of three, Kobus Coetzee noticed hip pain while jogging with his son during a family weekend away. Once home, he visited his Physiotherapist who referred him to Dr Andre Olivier. Kobus was sent for an MRI scan revealing news that shocked him and his family. Unfortunately, Kobus developed Avascular necrosis in both hips. Plans were immediately set in motion by Dr Olivier for Kobus to undergo Hip Replacement surgery.

Kobus came out after the surgery with two brand-new hips. He explains that his quality of life has been completely restored and that he was able to return to his active lifestyle post-surgery. Kobus also jokes that he gets a lot of ‘special’ attention at the airport as he keeps setting off the metal detector as he passes through security.

“A hip replacement makes for a lot of fun.”
Kobus Coetzee

Hip Replacement Surgery Procedure

The hip replacement surgery procedure generally involves the following steps. There are three common ways to access the hip joint:

  • From the front (anterior approach)
  • From the side (lateral approach)
  • From the back (posterior approach)
  1. An incision is made in the hip area to access the joint.
  2. The damaged hip socket is removed and replaced with a metal or plastic socket.
  3. A metal or plastic ball is inserted into the new socket.
  4. The incision is closed with stitches or staples and a dressing is applied.
  5. A drain may be placed under the skin to remove any excess fluid during healing.

Life after Hip Replacement Surgery

After hip replacement surgery, it is important to start moving around as soon as possible. This will help to prevent blood clots from forming in your leg. You will be given a physical therapy schedule to follow. It is important to stick to this schedule as it will help you regain your strength and range of motion. Most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few months.

Your quality of life is important. Chronic pain should not stop you from living a full life. If you have any concerns about your health, please contact Dr Olivier’s office situated at Vergelegen Mediclinic Somerset West at 021 850 6398 or admin@newlimb.co.za to make an appointment.