Total Hip Replacement Post Surgery Physiotherapy
The hip joint is a ball and socket synovial joint made up of the articulation between the pelvic acetabulum and the head of the femur. Wear and tear, fractures and dislocation can cause damage to the joint, and this would require corrective treatments.
Total hip replacement is a surgical procedure during which the surgeon removes a damaged section of the hip joint and replaces it with an artificial implant that functions similarly to a normal hip. The implants are made of metal (stainless steel or titanium), or hard plastics. The surgery is safe, and effective in relieving pain and improving function. Total hip replacement is usually an option for people suffering from severe hip pain that interferes in daily activities, which other non-surgical treatment options do not adequately address.
Following surgery, patients are also required to undergo physiotherapy to improve the function and mobility of their joints.
What Does Total Hip Replacement Address?
Total hip replacement is a common procedure performed in patients with the following conditions:
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that occurs during the ageing process after years of wear and tear. The protective cartilage that covers the ends of bones and joints gets worn out eventually, causing severe hip pain and stiffness.
This is a secondary osteoarthritis condition as a result of an injury or direct trauma. The underlying cartilage and bone become damaged due to improper healing, causing persistent pain and affecting daily activities such as putting on a pair of pants or climbing up and down a flight of stairs.
Following a fracture or dislocation of the hip joint, the blood supply to the femoral head may be interrupted or reduced. The lack of blood supply may cause the surface of the femoral head to be brittle and weak, making it difficult to support the hip joint. This condition is also known as osteonecrosis.
Total Hip Replacement Physiotherapy Management
Physiotherapy after total hip replacement surgery is essential and mandatory. This is because the hip joint is prone to dislocation as a result of the trauma on the hip stabilisers (capsule, ligaments and muscles) and the size of the implant. Hip exercises are necessary immediately post surgery to regain the use of your muscles around the hip joint. Post operative physiotherapy aims to address the functional needs of the patient (e.g. start moving), and improve strength and range of motion.