Medical Monday: All you need to know about hip replacement surgery

Posted at 7:27 PM, Nov 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 15:26:12-05
Dr. Michael Schnaubelt is an orthopedic surgeon with BayCare Clinic. He joined us on Wisconsin Tonight to talk about hip replacement surgery. 
According to Dr. Michael Schnaubelt, hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which diseased portions of the hip joint are replaced with artificial parts. The procedure helps improve mobility, hip joint function and eases or eliminates pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 332,000 total hip replacements are performed in the United States each year.
If you are experiencing debilitating pain from hip joint damage, you may be a candidate for hip replacement surgery. The procedure may be prohibitive for some patients, particularly those with health problems such as Parkinson’s disease or those at high risk for infections, or in poor health. Your doctor or orthopedic surgeon will help determine if you are a candidate for hip replacement surgery.
When your hip pain hinders your active lifestyle and keeps you in constant pain despite treatment, it might be time to explore hip replacement surgery as an option. Ultimately, you must make the decision about when to explore surgical options.
What does hip surgery entail?
A traditional hip replacement surgery is as follows:
* You are given general anesthesia to put you into a temporary deep sleep.
* The surgeon cuts along the side of your hip, moves the muscles connected to the top of your thighbone and exposes the hip joint.
* The ball of the joint is removed.
* Your artificial joint is cemented to your thighbone and attached to your new joint.
First, depending on the severity of your hip condition, there are non-surgical options to consider. Those include medications, injections, physical therapy and supportive aids such as a cane or a walker. When the matter cannot be resolved through non-surgical methods, surgery becomes an option. There are two main approaches, an anterior and posterior approach. The anterior approach enables an orthopedic surgeon to access the hip joint by separating the muscles rather than cutting and then reattaching muscles. Traditional hip replacement procedures enter the body through an incision close to the buttocks or through the side of the hip, often slicing through muscle. Entering the hip through the front results in less trauma to the soft tissues around the hip, fostering a speedier recovery.
With the anterior approach, your hospital stay is one to two days and recovery time is two to eight weeks. With the posterior approach, the hospital stay is two to three days and the recovery following the surgery is two to four months.
There is a clear benefit to the anterior approach. Your doctor or orthopedic surgeon can help determine which approach is best for you.
For more information, visit or call 877-229-2273.