Key Points About Medical Realignment of the Hip

  • Medical hip realignment is performed to align the bones and tissues in the hip in preparation for surgery.
  • Your doctor may perform a medical hip realignment before surgical hip realignment surgery.
  • Complications associated with a medical hip realignment include pain, nerve or tissue damage, or failure to heal.
  • During a medical hip realignment, your doctor will manually move the hip bone into the correct place and prepare it for surgery.
  • It can take as long as six months to return to normal activity levels after medical hip realignment followed by a surgical realignment of the hip. Follow your doctor's recovery instructions to ensure proper healing. 
Medical realignment of the hip is an orthopedic procedure to correct problems in the femur or hip joint. This procedure may be performed in conjunction with surgical hip realignment as an alternative to total hip replacement. 

A hip realignment may be necessary when you experience a hip dislocation or when the pain from hip impingement becomes unbearable. During hip realignment surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will cut the pelvic bone(s), move it back to its normal place, and remove any other bone fragments.

Who is a candidate for medical hip realignment?

Your doctor may perform a medical hip realignment to manually move a dislocated hip back into place in preparation for surgical realignment.

If you are not a candidate for a hip replacement, your doctor may recommend a surgical realignment of the hip. 

Conditions that may require a medical hip realignment include:

  • Hip socket fracture.
  • Hip impingement issue.
  • Labrum tear (rim of hip socket).
  • Cartilage damage at the hip joint.
  • Hip dysplasia (in younger patients).

When performed early, realignment surgery can reduce pain and delay the onset of arthritis in the hip.

Risks associated with medical realignment of the hip

Complications associated with medical hip realignment include:

  • Infection. You will be given IV antibiotics before and after surgery to prevent infection.
  • Failure to heal.
  • Nerve or tissue damage.
  • Additional bone fractures as bones are moved. 

What to expect during a medical realignment of the hip

Your doctor will perform medical realignment of the hip under general anesthesia.

During the surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will:

  • Make an incision approximately six to eight inches long at the hip joint. 
  • Using X-ray guidance, your surgeon will cut out the damaged bone and tissue to free it from its original position.
  • Prepare the bone graft that will be used in the hip joint. 
  • Place the bone graft in place and stabilize the joint with metal screws, plates, and pins. 

Once the area is located, your doctor will cut out the damaged bone and tissue. 

Recovery after medical hip realignment 

Recovery from a hip medical realignment procedure depends on the severity of the injury. If you had surgery after the medical hip realignment, you will take a blood thinner, wear a compression hose, and walk with crutches for approximately six weeks after the surgery. If necessary, your doctor will prescribe a pain medication.

Most patients can drive three to four weeks after surgery. After six weeks, you can start physical therapy, and after three months, you may be able to start working again. Full recovery from surgery can take as long as six months.

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