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Diagnosis Specific Programs: Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA)

Compassionate Care’s next diagnosis specific program is Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA)

Considering a THA and Understanding the Procedure

Total Hip Arthroplasty may be recommended when:

  • Severe hip pain or stiffness makes it very painful or very difficult to perform simple everyday activities such as walking, sitting, bending, climbing stairs, getting in and out of a chair
  • Needing to use a cane or walker due to severe hip pain
  • Moderate or severe hip pain is present even when the patient is resting
  • Chronic hip inflammation and swelling are not relieved with anti-inflammatory medication and rest

Individuals considering THA are not held to strict ages or weight limits. Recommendations for THA will be based on the patient’s pain and degree of disability. Most THA patients are between the ages of 50 and 80.

There are four basic steps to a hip replacement procedure:

  • The damaged femoral head is removed. It is replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The femoral stem may be either cemented or “press-fit” into place.
  • A new ball is placed on the upper part of the femoral stem. This ball can be made of either metal or ceramic. 
  • Damaged cartilage surface of the acetabulum (socket) is removed. A metal socket is positioned in its place. Screws or cement are sometimes used to hold the socket in place.
  • A plastic spacer is positioned between the new ball and the socket to create a smooth gliding surface. The spacer can be made of plastic, metal or ceramic.

Empowering You and Your Loved One

Home modifications and considerations should be made prior to Total Hip Arthroplasty. These include: safety bars or a secure handrail in the shower area and along stairs, a stable chair to sit in while recovering, toilet seat risers with arms, and a stable shower bench or chair for bathing. THA clients should use firm pillows as needed, to keep knees lower than the hips.

Always follow your physician’s orders when returning home after any surgery. Compassionate Care believes every individual has the right to understand their plan of care, make decisions about services they receive and live as independently as possible.

Client Goals:

  • Avoid falls
  • Prevent blood clots
  • Prevent pneumonia
  • Keep wound clean and dry
  • Manage pain


  • Medications
    • Use medications exactly as ordered by your physician and contact your physician if medications are not effectively controlling your pain.
  • Wound Care
    • Keep the wound clean and dry. Avoid soaking the wound until it has thoroughly sealed closed and gently pat the area dry after showering.
  • Prevention
    • Prevent blood clots by following your physician’s orders for:
      • Use of support hose (i.e. TED hose)
      • Compression boots (inflatable leg wraps)
      • Anticoagulant medications (blood thinners)
      • Exercise/movement of the leg, foot, and ankle
    • Prevent pneumonia by taking frequent deep breaths
  • Activity
    • THA patients should keep knees apart and avoid crossing legs. Follow your physician’s orders.
    • Follow your physician’s instructions for activity. A typical activity program will include:
      • A walking program that gradually increases to include greater walking distances.
      • Resuming normal daily activities
      • Specific exercises to restore movement to the hip joint
      • Do not drive until approved by your physician
  • Avoid falls
    • Stairs can be especially hazardous within the first few weeks
    • Use a walking aid (cane or walker) if your physician or physical therapist recommends it
    • Have someone walk with you until you are able to walk alone safely

Compassionate Care’s Goals

Compassionate Care is implementing these diagnosis specific programs for several reasons:

  • Empower clients and their families to successfully manage care in the home setting
  • Educate our office staff to better understand each of these diagnoses and the care needs
  • Educate our caregivers to better understand each of these diagnoses and the care needs
  • Promote successful transition back into the community for clients leaving hospital/skilled nursing facility
  • Reduce the number of avoidable readmissions to the hospital for our clients

Download the Joint Replacement diagnosis program.


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