What is a Bilateral Hip Replacement Surgery?
A bilateral hip replacement surgery included replacing both the painful hip joints with artificial prosthetics that enable the patient to recover the normal use of hip joints and decreases pain felt when using hip joint that have been affected by arthritis.
This procedure is very helpful in regaining function of the hips in case arthritis has affected both the hip joints that render normal activities such as bending at the hip and walking painful and uncomfortable.
What happens in a Bilateral Hip Replacement Surgery?
A bilateral hip replacement surgery is required to replace both the hip joints with artificial implants to recover and improve their function. Arthritis is known to affect the bone joints by decreasing the lubricating substance, present between the joints in the body that results in friction between the parts of the bones making the joint. This makes bending the joint uncomfortable and painful.
In bilateral hip replacement surgical procedure, both the femur (thigh bone) and the hip joint socket are replaced with surgical artificial implants to improve their functioning.
The surgical procedure is performed by the traditional open surgery or using the latest minimally invasive surgical procedure. Both types of surgery are successful in alleviating hip joint pain, with the only major difference being the size of the incisions required to perform the surgical procedure.
How is Bilateral Hip Replacement surgery performed?
A bilateral hip replacement surgery is performed by replacing both the hip joints with artificial surgical implants.
During an open-type surgery for hip replacement, the doctor will administer general anesthesia to relax your muscles and induce unconsciousness. An alternative to general anesthesia is a spinal anesthetic which numbs the hip portion of the body.
The doctor will then make an incision (around 8-10 inches long) along the side of the hips and shift aside the muscles connecting the femur (thigh bone) and expose the hip joint. The doctor then removes the ball part of the ball-socket joint of the hip by cutting the top part of the femur with a surgical saw. This part is then replaced with an artificial implant that is joined to the top of the thigh bone with surgical cement or an alternate material.
The next step is to remove any damaged cartilage from the hip socket and then attach the artificial implant to the hip bone. The implant ball joint is then inserted into the implanted hip socket and a drain tube is placed to drain excessive fluid. The surgery is completed after the doctor reattaches the muscles and closes the incision.
The minimally invasive surgical procedure for bilateral hip replacement requires the doctor to make a couple of minor incisions (2-5 inches long) and the same procedure is repeated to implant the artificial ball and socket in the hip joint. This procedure is advantageous over the conventional method of surgery as it involves less blood loss, lower pain, less scarring, faster healing and shorter hospital stay.
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What is the post-operative procedure for Bilateral Hip Replacement surgery?
After the bilateral hip replacement surgery, the doctor usually advises a stay of 4-6 days in the hospital with adequate cushioning of the replaced hip.
Physical therapy course usually begins the next day of the surgery that helps you regain normal movement and use of the hip joint in walking with a walker, cane or crutch. This physical therapy course may extend to a few weeks after the surgery.
What is the Bilateral Hip Replacement implant like?
The artificial implants for bilateral hip replacement are made from a number of synthetic and sterile materials, such as:
- Metal and plastic material (polyethylene)
- Metal on metal (MoM)
- Ceramic and plastic (UHMWPE)
- Ceramic on ceramic (CoC)
There are a number of different designs that differ with the manufacturers however the basic function of all these variously designed artificial hip implants remains the same.
The design of the implant is to function as an artificial hip joint with a typical ‘ball and socket’ component. It is meant to afford increased stability and functioning of the hip and restore the hip joint as close to its original position.
Are there any complications with Bilateral Hip Replacement surgery?
As with any type of major surgery, there are chances of minor complications but the doctors will make sure that these complications are dealt with in the best possible manner, such as:
- Blood clots – doctors will administer blood thinners to reduce the chances of blood clots.
- Infections – doctors will prescribe antibiotics for infections.
- Bleeding – this can be taken care of by proper medical attention.
There are also chances of certain other complications in some cases, such as:
- Limb length difference
- Crosses the legs extremely
- Breathing problem due to fat accumulating in the lungs after passing through the blood stream from the bone marrow
- Damages nerves in the hip may induce swelling and numbness
In spite of these risks, the success rate of bilateral hip replacement surgery in India is very high. The doctors and surgeons are well-experienced and have specialized and extensive training in handling artificial hip replacement procedures. These doctors are further assisted by a huge network of world-class hospitals that are equipped with the latest in medical technology. The team of doctors, nurses and other medical specialists are experienced in working in tandem in the past on thousands of such cases of bilateral hip replacement surgery. The additional bonus of low cost and global-standard hospitals and clinics make India the most favored destination for bilateral hip replacement surgery today.