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Not your father’s hip surgery: The latest information

Not your father’s hip surgery: The latest information

The first successful FDA-approved total hip replacement surgery took place in 1969. Nearly 65 years later, a lot has changed.

In the 1960s, hip replacement surgery took as long as five to six hours and required a three-week hospital stay for recovery. Thanks to the evolution of hip implants themselves and innovative technology, that’s no longer the case. In addition, hip implants are now made of a stronger polyethylene which tends to last longer and is easier to insert during surgery.
Because of the changes and developments in medical advancements, the implications of hip surgery have also changed, from what makes a suitable candidate to what recovery looks like.

Most hip replacement procedures lead to positive outcomes.
The hip joint itself isn’t that complex. It’s a basic ball-and-socket joint, unlike the knee, which is more intricate. In total hip replacement, the worn-out and damaged sections of the hip are—as the name implies—totally replaced.
The socket is swapped with a durable plastic cup, while the femoral head (the ball of the hip joint) is replaced with ceramic or metal. Surgery takes less than an hour – compared to as many as six hours in years past – and is commonly performed as an outpatient procedure.
More people are choosing to have total hip replacement surgery earlier.
Total hip replacement surgery used to be reserved for people over the age of 65, but data released from the National Hospital Discharge Survey confirms that the total number of hip replacements performed increased from 138,000 in 2000 to more than 310,000 in 2010. In the youngest age group – ages 45 to 54 – there was a 200% increase.
Hip dysplasia—a condition common in women in which the hip socket is too shallow—is also to blame. While women in their 40s or 50s might have been told they were too young for hip replacement in the past, now it’s a reasonable solution. Because better quality materials are used now, a new hip will last at least 25 years for 77% of patients who undergo hip replacement.
Recovery is relatively quick.
Unlike a knee replacement, which can require four to six months of recovery, most people are back to regular activity after a hip replacement within roughly a month. Some patients even begin walking with a cane, walker, or crutches a day or two after surgery.
Most people can resume driving and go back to work within a couple of weeks; they should also be back to regular activities like going to the gym within four to six weeks.
Working with a specialist is key.

With so many advancements taking place in orthopaedic surgery – especially in hip replacement, it’s important to work with a surgeon who specializes in joint replacement. Once you’re ready to consider total hip replacement surgery, consider scheduling a visit with Dr. Scott Sharp at DOC Orthopaedic.

Dr. Sharp is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine and specializes in minimally invasive joint replacement and other areas. He graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and eight years with Lockheed in Huntsville, AL, he received his Doctor of Medicine with honors from University of Alabama School of Medicine. Dr. Sharp did his general surgery internship at the University of Tennessee in Memphis and completed his orthopedic residency at the internationally renowned Campbell Clinic in Memphis, TN.
Since joining DOC in 2000, Dr. Sharp has served as the Team Physician for Austin High School, Calhoun Community College, and various area schools. He also has an appointment on the clinical faculty for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has served in various leadership positions including Medical Staff President at Decatur Morgan Hospital and is the President of DOC.
Dr. Sharp continues to refine his skills by keeping abreast of the latest advances in surgical and nonsurgical techniques for musculoskeletal care. His commitment to excellence, combined with over 20 years of experience, ensures you will receive the best skilled orthopedic care possible. If you think a hip replacement might be the right solution for you, reach out to the team at DOC Orthopaedics today to schedule an appointment by calling 256-350-0362.

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