Health care

Answers to Your basic Hip Replacement Questions

Hip replacement is a medical procedure where a damaged hip joint is resurfaced to fit in artificial prosthetics that resumes the normal functioning of the joint. The treatment is expected to release joint pain due to arthritis or fracture of the bone or any other underlying medical condition which hinders the normal lifestyle and activities of the patient.   Hip replacement cost in India is barely 20% to 25% of what it could be in western countries. Due to this fact, there is a lot of foreign patient who visit the country for medical help.

  What Happens during the Surgery?

Simply put, during a hip replacement surgery, the surgeon resurfaces bones that form the ball and socket of the hip joint. During the surgery, the surgeon makes incisions of about 8 to 12 inches on the side of the hips to gain access to the hip joint. Once there, he removes any damaged cartilage and fits the prosthetic carefully. The new prosthetic ball part of the thigh bone is inserted into the socket part of the hip.

Although, this traditional method is still very much in use, a new minimally invasive technique has evolved in the recent years which seem to have benefitted a lot of patients. During a minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, the incision made into the skin is much smaller of about 2 to 5 inches and this ensures a lot less tissue and muscle damage during the surgery. As a result, there is a lot less blood loss, quicker recovery, less scarring and shorter hospital stay. However, this can be the more expensive option and is required to be performed by a highly skilled doctor who specializes in this field and has a lot of experience with this surgery. A little mistake can result in improper fitting of the prosthetics which require additional surgeries to fix.

How much does it cost?

The cost of total hip replacement surgery in India can start from about USD 5700. However, it might vary depending on the complexity of the patient’s condition, the treatment requirements and the hospital facilities.

What care needs to be taken after the surgery?

Post surgery the patient is likely to spend up to a week’s worth of time within the hospital under close medical watch where his/her progress is checked and recorded. During this phase they are often attached to a drainage tube to ease the bathroom visits.

Physical therapy is an essential for reviving normal motion in the patient. It starts shortly after the surgery and is continued for weeks or even months to get complete recovery.

The patient is restricted from taking baths immediately after the surgery until the stitches heal.

He/she is also restricted from making drastic or rough or twisting movement that can cause more damage to the joint

A healthy diet with light exercises might be recommended by the doctor after complete recovery.

How long does it take to recover? 

Every patient is unique and requires different time spans to recovery completely. However, they are expected to resume their normal lifestyles after about three months after taking the prescribed medication and physical therapy. However, it might take up to a whole year for some patients to recover completely after the surgery.