Hip Replacement Surgeon | Dr. Brett J. Gilbert, MD

Those afflicted with arthritis of the hip joint, osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis), or a severe fracture, have the surgical option of replacing the affected hip with a prosthetic implant. When a hip is worn out, both the ball and the socket are involved (also called the femoral head and the acetabulum). To fix the hip, you need a new ball and a new socket, which is called a full or a total hip replacement. The technical term for a joint replacement is an arthroplasty, so a total hip arthroplasty also refers to the same procedure. By doing this using minimally invasive techniques and instruments, it is possible to preserve muscles and tendons around the hip joint, which can help to accelerate recovery time after surgery.

Total Hip Replacement/Hip Arthroplasty

Minimally invasive hip replacement has become one of the more common orthopedic procedures. Unlike traditional hip replacement techniques that require an incision of approximately 8 to 12 inches in length, there are smaller, 3- to 4-inch incision alternatives that preserve muscles and tendons around the hip joint to optimize surgical results.

Surgical approaches for hip replacement surgery that use these special muscle-sparing techniques include a minimally invasive posterior approach, minimally invasive direct anterior approach, and minimally invasive anterolateral approach. Each of these approaches for hip replacement surgery has unique risks and benefits that can be tailored to individual patient needs and anatomy.

Using these specialized techniques and accelerated recovery pathways, hip replacement surgery is now routinely done with just an overnight hospital stay, or as an outpatient procedure with the ability to safely return home with your new hip on the same day as the operative procedure.

Orthopedic Doctor in Raleigh, Apex & Brier Creek, NC

Dr. Brett J. Gilbert is a skilled, board-certified, and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hip replacement, and recommends a minimally invasive, muscle-sparing approach whenever it is applicable to a patient’s specific needs.

If you are experiencing hip pain due to arthritis or injury, let Dr. Gilbert assess your condition and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your treatment and recovery. Call our office today at (919) 788-8797 to schedule a consultation or request an appointment online.

What Is A Hip Replacement Surgery, And What Are The Benefits of Having One?

A total hip replacement surgery is a surgery to replace the ball and socket joint in the hip. The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that allows the thighbone (femur) to move up and down as you walk and run. The thighbone fits into the socket in the hip, which is made of cartilage and bone. There are two main types of hip replacement surgery: a total hip replacement surgery replaces both the ball and socket joint in your hip, while a revision total hip replacement surgery replaces just one ball or socket joint.

Benefits of having a total knee replacement include pain relief from arthritis, improved mobility, and ease of daily activities. It is a common surgery, and the benefits of having one include:

Improved mobility: A hip replacement can improve your mobility and quality of life by giving you greater flexibility and range of motion in your hips.

Reduced pain: Hip replacements can often reduce or eliminate the pain you experience due to arthritis or other conditions that affect the hip joint.

Improved function: Hip replacements can also improve your overall function by restoring your ability to walk, climb stairs, and perform other activities you once enjoyed.

Reduced risk of future injury: Hip replacements often reduce the risk of future hip injuries by improving your balance and coordination.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Hip Replacement?

While there is no set time frame for recovering from a hip replacement surgery, on average recovery can take between two and four weeks. Recovery, as the amount of time it takes to recover from surgery will depend on a number of factors such as the severity of hip injury, the surgical approach used, and post-operative care. With physical therapy starting soon after surgery to help facilitate optimal joint healing, patients can expect to be largely pain free three months out from your surgery.

During the first few weeks after hip replacement surgery, you will be given pain medication to take if needed. Your physical therapist will help guide you from using a walker to a cane or crutches, ultimately guiding you to walking and performing daily activities without any assistance.

Blood clots are a potential but rare complication after hip replacement surgery, so it is important that you take any blood thinners exactly as directed. Be aware of any signs of a blood clot, including leg swelling (with or without pain), shortness of breath, or chest pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Signs You May Need Hip Replacement Surgery

Minor hip pain can be controlled with self-care measures such as rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and applying ice or heat therapy to the affected area. However, if the joint pain becomes more severe and/or chronic, you and your orthopedic doctor should discuss suitable treatment options and if a surgical procedure is right for you.

If you are wondering whether hip replacement surgery may be the right option for you, consider these telltale signs:

  • You have chronic and intense hip pain and inflammation that cannot be helped with simple pain relievers.
  • You find yourself having a lot of difficulties accomplishing normal daily activities, such as walking, getting into bed, showering, or dressing without considerable difficulty and hip pain.
  • Hip pain and stiffness limit your range of motion in the joint.
  • Conservative treatment – such as anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections into the hip (administered by your orthopedic doctor), and physical therapy – do not work to relieve your hip pain.
  • X-rays reveal advanced osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or significant damaged cartilage, or a hip fracture.
  • Alternative, less-invasive surgical procedures are not likely to succeed in alleviating your pain and restoring your range of mobility.
  • Your original surgery needs a hip revision surgery, due to the artificial joint or artificial hip wearing down or is otherwise damaged.
Why Hip Implant Material Matters

The goal of any joint replacement surgery is to help enable you to move without pain and limitations for as many years as possible with the new hip joint. One of the key factors in attaining that goal is the integrity of the material used in the implant’s bearing surface – namely, the interface between the ball and socket of the prosthesis that is responsible for enabling movement. After all, it is the bearing surface that sustains the force of everyday movements. It must withstand considerable stress and friction, and be both biocompatible (non-toxic) to your body and wear-resistant. The more safe and more durable the material, the longer the life span and effectiveness of your hip implant.

In determining which implant material is likely to be the safest and longest lasting for you, your orthopedic surgeon will carefully assess factors such as your age, weight, activity level, and the extent of your joint damage, as well as whether you have a metal allergy. Each type of implant material has its advantages and disadvantages as a new joint. Among the options available are:

  • Metal-on-polyethylene – This type of implant features a metal alloy ball and plastic socket or lining and is known for its durability and performance. On the downside, metal-on-polyethylene implants can produce debris, which can lead to osteolysis, a condition in which bone tissue is destroyed, which can lead to eventual implant failure.
  • Ceramic-on-ceramic – Newer ceramic materials are stronger and less brittle and may wear out more slowly or over a longer period of time. They are, however, more expensive and can create a squeaking sound in some cases, or the surfaces can potentially break or chip, as opposed to wearing down gradually over time.
  • Ceramic-on-polyethylene – Made of a ceramic ball and a plastic socket or lining, this type of implant is a high-strength material that is also smooth, scratch-resistant, and low-friction. As such, it is regarded as an excellent alternative to metal and plastic implants and may have fewer risks than a ceramic-on-ceramic bearing.

Request A Second Opinion

Dr. Gilbert’s goal is to provide compassionate care, technical expertise, and personalized attention to patients with hip or knee issues. In some cases, especially with tough or complicated medical issues, it is a good idea to take a second opinion from more than one surgeon for a better understanding of your diagnosis and treatment options.

Opinion for Hip or Knee Replacement Surgery

As a hip and knee replacement specialist, Dr. Gilbert is available to provide a valuable opinion to help you make clearer decisions about your health.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gilbert, call our office at (919) 788-8797.

Request An Appointment

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