How is Hip Replacement Surgery Performed?

Hip Replacement

Hip arthroplasty, a total hip prosthesis placement, involves replacing a diseased hip with an artificial joint. It is one of the most reliable interventions of orthopedic surgery. This surgery aims to relieve pain and improve the mobility of the damaged joint. It can allow you to resume activities that were no longer possible with the diseased hip.

The establishment of prosthesis by a hip surgeon is discussed after the failure of medical treatment (analgesics, anti-inflammatories). Its indication is based on several arguments:

  • Pain
  • Significant functional impairment (stiffness and reduction in walking distance)
  • Radiographic confirmation of joint damage (joint space narrowing)

A pre-operative check-up will be necessary: ​​consultation with an anesthetist, dental checks-up, biological analyses, etc., and the total hip prosthesis consists of several elements:

  • A cup may be made of metal, polyethylene or ceramic and will be fixed to the acetabulum (articular surface on the side of the pelvis).
  • A metal rod fixed in the femur has a head whose diameter and material vary according to the indications.

The choice of material for each implant depends on your age, morphological characteristics, and activities; thus, each patient benefits from specific care.

All our implants are used routinely and benefit from validated reliability. Our decisions make it possible to obtain the best theoretical longevity for your prosthesis. The procedure lasts 45 to 60 minutes and requires hospitalization for approximately three days.

The incision made by the surgeon depends on the deformity of the hip and your morphology. We favor minimally invasive anterior (Hueter) or anterolateral (Rottinger) approaches which have the advantage of not cutting any muscle and therefore allowing faster recovery. They also significantly reduce the risk of dislocation.

If the deformities are significant, placing prosthesis with computer assistance is also possible. In the postoperative period, the patient can get up from the day of the intervention; the drainage is not systematic. The resumption of walking is immediate and is done with the help of canes which will be gradually abandoned with the physiotherapist. Your surgeon will see you again in consultation between 6 and 8 weeks.

Why an operation?

Cartilage damage is irreversible, and osteoarthritis does not heal on its own. The natural progression is for the joint to deteriorate with time, increasing mobility limitations and a more challenging walk. Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers that were formerly sufficient are no longer effective. This is when the subject of surgery comes up. The goal of the surgery is to alleviate discomfort, regain mobility, and return to normal walking.

What is an anterior total hip prosthesis?

Total hip replacement aims to replace worn-out bone and cartilage with artificial components of the same form. An anterior route is used for this operation. Even though it is becoming increasingly fascinating now, this approach is far from new; it developed more than a century ago. It considers all of the hip muscles, allowing for a quicker postoperative recovery and improved prosthesis stability.

What are the expected results of your operation?

The results of this technique are very encouraging since we find an often spectacular disappearance of pain and rapid recovery of mobility and muscle strength. Normal walking without lameness is generally achieved within a month of the procedure.

Even though the results are typically remarkable, many patients forget wearing prosthesis, demanding jobs, and violent sports should be avoided. Despite the introduction of new, more durable materials, these activities can increase wear and shorten the life of the prosthesis. Cycling, swimming, golf, and hiking are all possible or even encouraged activities, whereas skiing, tennis, and jogging demand caution.

The average lifespan of a hip prosthesis is about 20 years. We hope that with the progress on the materials used today, the results will be even better with greater longevity.

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By Flavia Calina

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