If you’ve experienced a serious hip injury while working for your Georgia employer, then you may need a surgery such as a total hip replacement to make a full recovery. To get the best results possible and successfully return to work, it’s important to know what a total hip replacement is, the benefits and risks of the procedure, and how a hip replacement can fit into your life.
Your specific hip injury and the right treatment for you will be unique. However, if you want treatments for your workplace injury to be covered by your Georgia employer, it’s important to build a strong case to make sure you can get the benefits that you need and deserve. The first step in this process is establishing a connection between your hip injury and work history, which can be challenging.
We understand that your Georgia employer and the workers’ compensation system can make it difficult to get important treatments covered. With one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Gearhart Law, you can build the strongest case possible for your hip injury and get the compensation that you deserve.
What is Total Hip Replacement Surgery?
A total hip replacement is a major surgical procedure that involves removing damaged or worn out components of the hip joint and replacing them with artificial components, called prostheses. This procedure is commonly used to treat severe arthritis and other conditions that lead to unmanageable pain and dysfunction of the hip.
During a total hip replacement your surgeon will make an incision in the hip area and remove the damaged femoral head and socket, replacing it with a prosthetic ball-and-socket joint. The new artificial components are typically made of metal or ceramic, depending on the individual needs of the patient. After removing damaged hip components and cleaning up the hip joint, your surgeon will insert the new parts into place, secure them with screws or cement, and close the incision.
Recovery time and outcomes can vary depending on the individual and the surgical approach used, but most people who undergo a total hip replacement surgery experience improved mobility and range of motion as well as decreased pain after their initial recovery period. In addition, many patients are able to return to their everyday activities with little to no pain or restrictions after a successful total hip replacement procedure and recovery.
What is Total Hip Replacement Used For?
Total hip replacement surgery is typically used to treat conditions and injuries that are causing severe pain and dysfunction of the hip joint which limits your quality of life. The most common conditions that can lead to a total hip replacement are advanced osteoarthritis, certain types of fractures, and avascular necrosis of the hip joint.
In many cases, total hip replacement is recommended only when other treatments such as exercise or medications have been ineffective at reducing pain and improving mobility. Total hip replacement surgery is often used to restore normal function to the hip after a serious injury, which may occur during an accident at work. With progressively advanced methods to perform a total hip replacement, this procedure can be an effective treatment for restoring range of motion and decreasing pain to help you return to your everyday activities.
A popular alternative to a total hip replacement is arthroscopic hip surgery. This less invasive surgical procedure involves using small incisions and special tools to repair the hip joint from the inside. With this technique, your surgeon can diagnose and treat several conditions including torn cartilage and minor degenerative changes in the hip joint. Arthroscopic hip surgery offers many benefits compared to a total hip replacement including shorter recovery times, less pain and fewer risks.
Is Total Hip Replacement Safe?
Total hip replacement is a routine procedure with typically good outcomes, although it is a very invasive procedure relative to many others. Like all surgeries, there are potential risks and complications that can occur during or after a total hip replacement. Major risks include infection, nerve damage, blood clots, and dislocation of the new joint components after surgery. Be sure to discuss all potential risks with your doctor before deciding if a total hip replacement is right for you.
The first few weeks after total hip replacement surgery can be uncomfortable due to swelling and soreness in the area. Many people also experience a pulling sensation or tightness in their hip, or nerve pain that radiates downwards into the leg. You may also experience stiffness and soreness at and around your hip joint, which is common during the healing process.
Pain medication prescribed by your doctor can help reduce discomfort and help you manage any pain that you experience during your initial recovery. It is also important to keep your incision area clean and dry, follow your doctor’s instructions for wound care, and follow any precautions that are given to you after surgery.
Generally speaking, total hip replacements can last 10 to 20 years depending on your lifestyle and the type of components used. After this time, it may be necessary to replace the artificial hip joint with a new one if it wears down or fails. Despite these limitations, total hip replacement is generally still recommended in many cases when performed by an experienced orthopedic surgeon using high-quality materials.
Will I Need Other Treatments?
Recovering from a total hip replacement can be a long process, and your doctor will likely recommend several additional treatments after surgery. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and assistive devices are all important parts of recovering from total hip replacement surgery.
Physical therapy helps restore strength and flexibility to the muscles surrounding your hip joint, while occupational therapy helps you learn new ways to perform everyday tasks without putting too much strain on your hip. Assistive devices such as walkers or canes may also be recommended by your doctor to provide extra support while you get used to your new hip and return to normal activities.
Many people also find heat or cold packs, topical patches, and over-the-counter medications helpful to maintain comfort and improve tolerance for rehab activities after their replacement. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and weight loss may be useful in improving your recovery after a total hip replacement. All of these factors can help to reduce stress on your hip joint, reduce pain, and improve mobility so that you can get back on the job as soon as possible.
Contact an Atlanta Injury Attorney
Our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group represent victims of work-related injuries and help them get the workers’ compensation benefits that they deserve. Our lawyers understand how your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance companies will try to save money by denying or underpaying your claim. We know how to fight any objections they may have and pursue all the Georgia workers’ compensation benefits that you need. Call us now so we can evaluate your specific case and advise you of your next legal steps as well as ensuring that you are receiving the best medical care for your injuries.