A partial hip replacement means to remove and replace the ball of the hip joint. Socket is not replaced in it. This surgery is often used to repair some types of hip fractures.
The metal or ceramic ball is attached to a metal stem. This is called a hip implant. The stem is set into the core of the femur (thighbone). It is firmly fixed in the femur by one of the two ways:
Cemented to the bone.
Uncemented. This type of stem has a porous coating that the bone grows into.
The doctor may use general anesthesia. This means you will be asleep during the surgery or your doctor may use regional anesthesia. This means you can’t feel area of the surgery. You will have medicine that will make you lightly asleep and unaware. The type of anesthesia you get, depends on your overall health and doctor. Your doctor might also ask your preference.
Expectation after Surgery
Right after Surgery
Your pain will be controlled with intravenous (IV) medicine, when you wake from surgery. You will also possibly have medicines to prevent infection, nausea, and blood clots. You should expect to have little or no feeling below your waist for a while, if you had regional anesthesia.
Coming out of surgery, you can have a cushion between your legs. This is to keep your new hip in the accurate position. You may also have a catheter. It allows you empty your bladder without getting up. You will likely be wearing compression stockings to help in prevention of blood clots. And you may have compression sleeves for your legs. These squeezes and releases your lower legs to help keep the blood moving.
You will need to follow hip precautions, until your hip is fully healed. This means:
You must avoid twisting at the hips. You keep your hips, knees, shoulders, and feet forward.
You do not let your affected leg cross the center of body toward the other leg. Your therapist may advice that you:
- Don’t cross your legs or feet.
- Be very careful as you get in or out of a car or bed. Make sure your leg does not cross that imaginary line down the middle of the body.
- Keep a pillow between your knees when you are lying down. The pillow rests under the affected leg and on top of the other leg when you are on your back. This helps you to turn onto your side without twisting at the hips.
On the day of surgery or a day after, you will get out of bed with help. You will learn how to walk with crutches or a walker. By the time you leave the hospital, you will be able to safely sit down and stand up, bath, dress yourself, use the toilet, and use stairs.
Leaving the hospital
Your doctor will tell you if you will stay in the hospital or if you can go home the day of surgery.
- You can go home if you have care at home and your recovery is going well. Initially, you will need someone who can help you day and night.
- You can go to a rehabilitation center if you don’t have any care at home. You can go home when you have recovered well enough to safely move around and care of yourself.