Double, Total Hip Replacement

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A double total hip replacement involves both hips, rather than a single hip, undergoing replacement surgery. Damaged bone is removed, and artificial joints are implanted.

What is it?

A double total hip replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces a damaged ball and socket of both hip joints with artificial ones. Artificial joints can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. This procedure is needed for someone with severe arthritis in his or her hip joints, fractures of the hip joints, rheumatoid arthritis, or death of the hip bones.

What should I do to prepare?

Before a double total hip replacement, a patient should consult his or her doctor about current medication plans and address adjustments that need to be made before surgery. If the patient takes any blood thinners, he or she should stop at least a week before surgery. Patients cannot eat or drink anything during the night before surgery. Patients should also make transportation accommodations to return home after completion of the surgery. Finally, hip replacement patients typically donate blood because there is a significant amount of blood lost during this procedure.

What happens during the process?

Double total hip replacement surgery is done either traditionally (8-10 in. incision) or by a minimally invasive technique. General anesthesia is administered to relax the patient, and an incision is made along the side of the hips. The hip joints are exposed and the balls of the hips are cut off using a saw. Artificial joints are attached to the thigh bones with cement. The surgeon then removes any damaged cartilage from the surface of the hip bones and attaches replacement sockets for insertion of the artificial balls.The muscles are reattached, and the incisions are closed. For a double total hip replacement, the operation takes twice as long, and there is a greater amount of anesthesia required.

What are the risks and potential complications?

Despite significant advancements in the procedure technique, there are still risks associated with a double total hip replacement surgery. Risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Blood clotting
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Negative effect of anesthesia
  • Legs with different lengths
  • Dislocation
  • Nerve injury


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