Frequently asked questions by patients

Que:1 What is arthritis, and why does my hip hurt?

In the hip joint there is a layer of smooth cartilage on the ball of the upper end of the thigh bone (femur) and another layer within the hip socket. This cartilage serves as a cushion and allows for smooth motion of the hip. Arthritis is a wearing away of this cartilage. Eventually it wears down to bone. Rubbing of bone against bone causes discomfort, swelling and stiffness.

Que:2 Are there any medicines which can revert or halt cartilage damage?

Osteoarthritis (age related hip joint pain) is mechanical wear & tear of hip joint cartilage. It is actually an aging process. In very early stages of osteoarthritis medicines like glucosamine, diacerin etc. can alter or slow down the progression of disease. Pain killers can make patient comfortable, but medicines cannot cure arthritis.

Que:3 Is there any age bar for hip replacement surgery?

We see lots of patients who have severe disease of hip joint at a very young age. These patients are in so much pain that they cannot perform even their activities of daily living. At VIROC, those who have undergone hip replacement are19 years young boy and the most elderly patient is of87 years old female.It’s not about the age but about how much suffering an individual has because of hip pain.

Now, with the avaibility of long lasting bearing surfaces of artificial hip joint, the survival of hip implant has increased up to 25-30 years. Also revision and re-surgery implants are available. So, patient of any age can be given of pain free mobile hip for life time.

Que:4 What is the life of artificial implanted hip joint?

According to various mechanical laboratories testing on simulators, the hip implant can survive for approx. 25-30 years. So, In hands of a skillful surgeon, well fixed and well aligned hip replacement can last up to 25-30 years or even more.

Que:5 What are the chances of getting infection after hip replacement?

Infection rate at VIROC hospital is 1 in 200 cases (0.5%). This very well matches with the international standards.

Que:6 Is it possible to drive vehicle after hip replacement?

Patient’s can drive even bicycle after hip replacement. So, definitely, they can drive car & two wheeler comfortably.

Que:7 ). My mother has rheumatoid arthritis. She has both hip & both knee problems (arthritis). She is not able to walk. Can she be benefited from surgery?

These are relatively difficult case. Definitely, we can make them walk pain free after offering them both hip & knee replacement surgery.

Que:8 My father has severe pain in both hips. She walks limping on both sides. Will she be benefited after hip replacement?

obviously, YES. These are the actual patients, who get maximum benefit after hip replacement surgery. Patient will be able to walk straight without limp after hip replacement.

Que:9 much walking distance is permitted after hip replacement?

There is no defined distance which a hip replaced patient can walk. Walking distance depends on physical fitness of individual.

Que:10 When will I be able to get out of bed after hip replacement?

: you will get out of bed on the evening the day of your surgery under observation of physiotherapy. On day of operation you can walk with a walker with the help of the physiotherapist. On 3rd day you can climb the stairs.

Que:11 Will I need a walker, crutches or cane after total hip replacement?

Yes. Until your muscle strength returns after surgery, you will need a walker, a cane or crutches.

Que:12 When will I be able to get back to work?

If it is sitting job you can get back to work in about 2 weeks. Depending on individual recovery 1 to 2 weeks, if it’s strenuous job you will be guided by physiotherapist and joint replacement surgeon.

Que:13 My son is athlete, his age is 25, he is suffering from AVN of left hip. Doctor suggested THR, will he be able to play high impact game after total hip replacement?

High-impact activities such as contact sports, running, tennis and basketball are not recommended. Injury-prone sports such as downhill skiing are also dangerous for your artificial joint. You are encouraged to participate in low-impact activities such as walking, dancing, golfing, hiking, swimming, bowling and gardening.

Que:14 soon after surgery can I have sexual intercourse?

The time to resume sexual intercourse should be discussed with your orthopedic surgeon. He will guide on resuming sexual intercourse and will give you a handout at your discharge instruction class.