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Total Hip Replacement

A total hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased cartilage and bone of the hip joint is surgically replaced with artificial materials.

Total hip replacements are most commonly performed because of the pain and immobility caused by severe arthritis in the hip joint. The most common type of arthritis leading to total hip replacement is degenerative arthritis, or osteoarthritis, of the hip joint. This type of arthritis is generally seen with aging, congenital abnormality of the hip joint or prior trauma to the hip joint. Other causes include rheumatoid arthritis, injury to the hip or childhood hip disease. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful operations in all of medicine. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that more than 285,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States.

Physical Therapy for Total Hip Replacement

Physical therapy is an essential part of rehabilitation following a total hip replacement. In addition, statistics show that patients who receive physical therapy (PT) pre-surgery attain superior outcomes (e.g. significantly faster recovery) than those who only receive PT post-operatively. In the case of hip replacements, the patients have generally had arthritis and therefore pain and difficulties for quite some time. So, emphasis is placed on education in correct gait, increasing range of motion and strengthening of all muscles that surround and support the hip.

Modalities: Cold laser and/or infrared light therapy, electric stimulation, icing.


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