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Options for Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Written by Knees and Hips on September 14, 2013

Old age and Osteoarthritis have some pretty awful implications for the weight bearing joints of the knees and hips.  Osteoarthritis is one of those irreversible degenerative afflictions which are all too common as the soft tissue in the load bearing joints wears away often accompanied by the bone of the joints distorting. It is unfortunately usually accompanied by pain and discomfort. And that pain is constant and debilitating and often require hip replacement surgery.

Whether one can avoid Osteoarthritis is not actually known. Certain possible contributory factors are however and the most controllable of these is one’s body mass. Being overweight adds stress to the joints. Every 10 pounds overweight is like a 10 pound hammer hitting your feet every step. Other factors like hereditary, advanced age and injury can’t really be controlled. There is evidence to support the prolonged use of some over the counter preparations in easing the symptoms but they do nothing to stop the actual affliction which is debilitating and can make one feel cripple.

These days prosthetics are frequently used to relieve the problem and after the healing the patient will be able to do all the normal things in life without experiencing the pain. Hip replacement is now a routine operation and there are various materials and methods that are used to create the prosthesis.

Effectively the job is to replace the ball at the head of the femur and/or to reline the socket in which it rotates, This conservative treatment which can often prevent or at least delay the need for a full hip replacement.

Another operation often performed is to only replace the head of the femur if the socket is in good shape. The modern practice is to use a composite of metal and HDPE composite but this has shown no particular advantage over the more traditional Composite or metal prostheses. This is normally only done on frail or elderly patients with a lower activity level and limited expected life span

A full hip replacement is a far more normal procedure and has a very good success rate. By far the majority of these operations have the patients living without pain within months of the operation and after they complete the post operative physical therapy.

Another surgical option minimally invasive techniques which involve much smaller incisions that enable a more rapid recovery from surgery.