What Are The Advantages Of Minimally Invasive Surgery For Hip Replacement?

Medical technology is constantly evolving for the better. There are better and faster diagnostic equipments, robots to assist in surgery and safer anaesthesia techniques. With these advances in technology, surgery now is a lot lower in risk, shorter recovery time and less discomfort for patients. One of the greatest surgical development is the usage of minimally invasive surgery. In this article, we will be talking about the advantages of minimally invasive surgery for hip replacement.

During a minimally invasive surgery procedure, tiny incisions instead of large openings are made. Due to its extremely small nature, the risk of infections is much lower and recovery time is significantly reduced. Patients will also feel less discomfort compared to traditional surgery procedures with no strings attached. In order to qualify as a minimally invasive surgery, incisions no more than 4 inches can be made.

In traditional open hip replacement surgery, surgeons will have to make a 12 inch incision at the thigh area which cuts through the tendons and muscles in order to reach the hip joint. This will not only cause trauma to the area but also large amounts of blood loss. Not only that, the hip must be dislocated by physical means and this will cause tissue damages to the surrounding tissues as well. Through minimally invasive hip replacement surgery called the MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement procedure, 2 small incisions are made over at the buttock and groin. This will allow access to the femur and socket with little to none trauma on the tissues and leaving the muscles untouched. Through the tiny incisions, robotic arms will place the prosthetics precisely between muscles, eliminating the chances of misalignment.

Patients can get out of their bed in as little as a few hours post surgery as compared to days when open surgery is performed. This will cut down the hospital stay to an average of 2 days as compared to 4 days, saving the patient hefty medical bills. Patients will also be able to start their physical therapy faster, reducing the recovery time. Most importantly, the patient will feel significantly less pain and discomfort.

Despite the many advantages of minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, it is not meant for everyone. Patients who are obese or have existing bone problems such as osteoporosis are not recommend. Minimally invasive surgery is also a complex procedure and hours of fine tuning in skills is required.

How Can I Manage Pain After My Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

Patients who are scheduled for a total hip replacement surgery will often have many questions about the procedure, and the most common being pain management. Most patients want to know how to overcome the initial pain barrier and how to live with it during the recovery period. They want to be able to sleep well and not be woken up in the middle of the night drenched in cold sweat from the pain. In this article, we will look at ways to manage pain after hip replacement surgery.

Pain is essentially a chemical reaction occurring in the body. Different people have different pain tolerance levels so it is very subjective. Therefore, pain management usually requires a certain level of expectations on the patient’s part. Hip replacement surgery will definitely bring about significant inconvenience of the need for prolonged periods of immobility and rest in order to allow the body to kick start the healing process. Our body repairs the muscles and tissues when we are at rest.

In the initial stages of post surgery, minimal motion is recommended. Often by the 10th day, the pain level will be bearable without the need for oral medications to suppress it. Patients during this stage will start to use walking aids such as crutches and walkers to aid them in their movements. Whenever feasible, you should always try to use ice to help relief the swelling and bring down the pain. With advances in technology, reusable gel packs that are capable of staying cold for long periods of time are available and this offers a much better option for patients.

Pain relief medications are a must. Otherwise, the pain may get so unbearable that you cannot do anything. However, always remember to use medication in conjunction with ice packs in order to reduce the dependency on drugs.

Elevating the legs will also help to bring down swelling. This can be done almost everywhere. Regular elevation of the leg coupled with icing and medication will help bring down the pain to a new low. Physical therapy will also be required by the patient for up to a year depending on the recovery level. Physical therapy helps the patient to regain range of motion, build up muscles and strengthen the injured area in order to prevent re-injury.

Pain management after hip replacement surgery is fairly straight forward. Lots of rest is needed followed by regular consumption of pain relief medication, icing, elevation and physical therapy. The initial stages may be difficult at first but persevere on and the results will be all worthwhile.

How Do I Know If I Need Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is not something that everyone needs. However due to certain medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, hip replacement surgery may be the only way to get back a good quality of life. The choice is still ultimately up to you on whether to undergo hip replacement surgery or to take pain relief medication to tide you through. Let’s discuss on how you know if you really need surgery.

Unbearable pain and stiff hips

When pain gets unbearable and hips are always stiff, simple actions such as climbing the stairs, walking and even standing can be extremely difficult. Pain relief medication can only help you to overcome pain for certain duration and cannot be used forever. Therefore, when your osteoarthritis is this bad, hip replacement surgery is the only option available for you in order to get back a good quality life.

Bone damages

Due to osteoarthritis, bones are damaged and the bones are unable to regenerate and grow again. The joint cartilages are also disintegrated and no form of medication or physical therapy can help to repair it. When damages to the bone happen, hip replacement surgery will be required to repair it.

Alternative treatments failed

Surgery will usually be the last option that your surgeon will consider. Usually, he will prescribe you pain relief medication followed by physical therapy in order to help you regain flexibility in your joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles. However when all these treatments fail, surgery will be the only option left.

Conditions with no known cure

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joint mistakenly instead of protecting it. The body does not recognise it as its own and treats it as something foreign and will continuously attack it until it is no longer there. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis yet and patients who suffer from it must undergo hip replacement surgery in order to recover.

Above are 4 common scenarios where a hip replacement surgery needs to be considered. There are many factors that must be considered prior to surgery such as the age of the patient, overall health condition and bone density. Attempts to try alternatives to surgery such as medication and physical therapy will be made before suggesting surgery. Hip replacement surgery is a major and costly procedure and careful thought must be made before a final decision is made.