How Can Hip Replacement Help?
Once the cartilage inside your hip joint is worn away, or structural integrity of the bones is lost, your Arlington orthopedic hip surgeon may suggest hip replacement surgery as a solution.
Reports show that more than 300,000 Americans have hip replacement surgery each year to treat chronic pain due to arthritis, injury, or other disorder. Instead of being immobilized by hip pain, an artificial hip implant can allow patients to return to work, stay active, and maintain a healthy independent lifestyle as they age.
By working with a hip specialist and orthopedic surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Orthopedic and Spine Hospital – Arlington, those suffering from hip pain can determine if hip replacement surgery is right for them. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic hip pain, osteonecrosis, hip fracture, and bone tumors are just a few of the conditions that prompt consideration of this procedure.
There is no minimum age for hip replacement surgery, as fitness level and overall health are better indicators of successful recovery after joint surgery, according to the National Institutes of Health. Baylor Scott & White – Arlington offers patient classes and an educational hip replacement guide to introduce patients to joint replacement surgery.
Hip replacement resources are available from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
- Joint Replacement Surgery
- Questions and Answers About Hip Replacement
- Informed Patient Learning Module: Total Hip Replacement
- Total Hip Replacement
- Questions Patients Should Ask Their Surgeon
Choose the Right Hip Replacement Method
All hip replacement surgery involves removing the damaged hip joint and installing a prosthetic joint, but there are several orthopedic surgery techniques available for hip replacement. Some use different implant materials, while others require a different surgical technique.
- Traditional total hip replacement (arthroplasty) replaces the femoral head with a metal stem extending down into the thighbone. A single long incision along the side of the hip unfastens muscles and dislocated the joint for open access. The stem may be cemented or “press fit” into the bone. A metal or ceramic ball rests on top of the stem. The broken cartilage socket is replaced with a metal socket that may be screwed or cemented in place. The two new joint pieces glide against each other on a spacer, which may be plastic, metal, or ceramic.
- Total hip replacement anterior approach uses a smaller incision on the front of the hip in order to avoid disturbing muscles and tissues around the hip joint. This tissue-sparing alternative offers less pain, faster recovery, and better mobility after hip surgery. The minimally invasive hip surgery with a front incision means patients do not have to sit on the surgical site, plus the hip may be able to flex freely and bear more weight right after surgery. Baylor Scott & White – Arlington’s orthopedic surgical suites provide specialized operating tables for improved access.
- Total hip resurfacing arthroplasty trims and recovers the femoral head rather than completely replacing it with an implant. The orthopedic surgery covers the interior of the hip joint with a smooth metal shell. Your hip surgeon can provide details on how hip resurfacing may benefit your joint condition versu s total hip replacement. Some orthopedic surgeons believe hip resurfacing offers more range of motion, less chance for hip dislocation, more natural walking gait, and ease of hip revision.
- Hemiarthroplasty focuses on removing the broken femoral head or “ball” part of the hip joint, but not the pelvic socket. The orthopedic surgeon works through an incision on the outer side of the hip. The prosthetic stem attaches to the thighbone using bone cement or a press-fit design.
- Revision hip surgery removes worn parts from an earlier hip replacement and replaces them with new components. Some prosthetic hip joints fail because of a hip fracture after a total hip replacement. All or some of the existing prosthesis may be replaced with metal, plastic, or ceramic parts. If needed, the revised hip joint may be further stabilized with an allograft (donor bone graft) around the shaft of the femoral head component. The bone graft material can include a range of sources and types of materials to enhance healing and bone growth.
Consult an Orthopedic Hip Specialist
As with any surgical procedure, patients should take the time to educate themselves about their hip condition and potential treatments. Selecting an experienced orthopedic surgeon with special training in hip disorders and hip surgery helps ensure you make an informed health care decision.
Call 855-41-ORTHO to make an appointment with the expert hip surgery team at Baylor Scott & White – Arlington.