Hip replacement surgery is a surgical operation that allows you to eliminate pain, recover functionality and return to normal daily life activities. It is indicated in those patients who are unable to bear the pain, who have difficulty performing the activities of everyday life, and who do not respond positively to physiotherapy or to taking anti-inflammatories and painkillers.
We asked Dr. Gianmarco Regazzola, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip surgery available to patients at the MedicalPlan Polyclinic in Capriolo, to explain to us when it is advisable not to postpone the intervention any longer and what are the advantages of minimally invasive methods. An orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee surgery and robotic surgery, Dr. Gianmarco Regazzola combines an international training background and a careful knowledge of the most advanced technologies.
Hip prosthesis: when to operate? How important is age?
As we know, modern prostheses are designed to last over time, lasting more than 20 years. However, this does not mean that the intervention is indicated only in the elderly population. Indeed, it is recommended for all those patients who suffer from advanced arthrosis of the hip (coxarthrosis) and who are unable to carry out everyday activities. Age is not a limiting factor for undergoing prosthesis surgery.
The duration of hip prostheses, if we look at international registers, is more than 92-93% approximately 20 years after surgery. This means that the risk of having to undergo an audit is generally very low.
How is minimally invasive anterior access hip replacement surgery performed?
Hip replacement surgery is managed using the fast-track protocol, i.e. with the maximum degree of customization, which allows the patient to walk 4 hours after surgery.
The anterior access route, in association with prosthetic implants and dedicated instruments, allows prosthetic hip replacement surgery to be performed with a minimally invasive approach, spreading apart and not disengaging the muscle heads.
Usually performed under spinal anesthesia, the prosthesis is implanted through an approximately 10 cm incision in the anterior part of the patient’s thigh.
We then proceed to a dissection of the soft tissues and a divarication of the muscles that are not severed or detached. This element is one of the reasons for the faster functional recovery compared to other traditional techniques. With dedicated instruments, the implants are positioned respecting the patient’s anatomy and thus personalizing the surgery.
The surgery lasts approximately 60-90 minutes.
What are the advantages of this minimally invasive method?
This type of intervention provides numerous advantages such as:
• Less post-operative pain
• Rapid functional recovery
• Lower risk of dislocation
• Short hospital stay
What to expect, however, for the post-surgery: what are the recovery times?
A few hours after the operation, the patient is helped to walk thanks to the help of the physiotherapists. The next day the patient is able to walk with crutches, go up and down stairs with the help of physiotherapists, and independently.
The discharge takes place 3-5 days after the operation and the physiotherapy is performed independently.
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Normal daily life activities resume in the first 3/6 weeks, while total recovery occurs after about 3 months.
Depending on the type of surgery, it may be necessary to temporarily avoid certain movements that can cause dislocation.
Of course, our staff will indicate in a precise way what are the limitations to be observed based on the type of intervention undergone.
Over time, you will be able to move with greater agility by abandoning the crutches and returning to a normal life.
Afterward, the hip muscles will strengthen, and you will be able to resume your daily activities. In fact, without pain, patients return to activities such as long walks, even in the mountains, or sports such as cycling, swimming, tennis, golf and even demanding sports such as skiing.
The hip prosthesis, therefore, allows you to eliminate the pain, restore the functionality of the joint and return to being active.