A hip replacement is an orthopaedic procedure that involves surgery of the bones and cartilage of the hip joint. Hip replacements are generally done when patients experience severe hip pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility that is affecting their daily activities and quality of life. The surgery is done as part of a treatment plan that includes non-surgical treatments for pain and reduced mobility.
Pain and reduced mobility in the hip joint is generally caused by injury or conditions that break down the hip joint, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and avascular necrosis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage in the hip joint to wear down over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the joints, including the hip joint, leading to pain, stiffness, and degeneration of the joint. Avascular necrosis is a condition in which the blood supply to the hip joint is disrupted, causing the bone to die and leading to pain, stiffness, and joint damage.
A fracture in the hip joint can damage the bone and cartilage, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. The risk of a hip fracture is higher for those suffering from osteoporosis (a condition that weakens the bone).
Different Types Of Hip Replacement Surgery
The needs of each patient are unique and the treatment plan for each person will be tailored to their needs. There are different types of hip replacement surgeries, depending on which part of the hip joint is damaged and how much of the joint needs to be replaced.
- During a total hip replacement, the entire hip joint is replaced with an artificial joint made of metal, ceramic, or plastic components.
- A partial hip replacement (or hemiarthroplasty) involves replacing only the ball portion of the hip joint with an artificial component.
- Hip resurfacing involves reshaping the damaged hip joint and capping it with a metal implant.
- Revision hip replacement is performed when a previous hip replacement has failed or has become loose, and involves replacing the original implant with a new one.
Techniques Used During Hip Replacement Surgery
The techniques used during hip replacement surgery influence how invasive the surgery will be. In general, a hip replacement is a major surgical procedure and is only recommended when other treatments have failed.
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement Surgeries
Minimally invasive hip replacements use smaller incisions and specialised instruments to minimize tissue damage and speed up recovery time. Some examples of hip replacement surgeries that may involve minimally invasive techniques include:
Anterior Approach Hip Replacement
This technique involves making a small incision at the front of the hip joint and using specialized instruments to access and replace the damaged hip joint. This approach avoids cutting through major muscles, which can lead to a faster recovery and less pain after surgery.
Posterior Approach Hip Replacement
This technique involves making a small incision at the back of the hip joint and using specialized instruments to access and replace the damaged hip joint. This approach may include cutting through muscles, but the incision is typically smaller than in traditional hip replacement surgery.
Two-Incision Hip Replacement
This technique involves making two small incisions, one at the front and one at the back of the hip joint, and using specialized instruments to access and replace the damaged hip joint. This approach can lead to a faster recovery time and less scarring than traditional hip replacement surgery.
Minimally Invasive Robotic Hip Replacement
This technique uses a specialized robotic system to assist the surgeon in performing the procedure, allowing for more precise placement of the artificial joint components and potentially reducing the risk of complications.
Open Hip Replacement Surgeries
In general, traditional or "open" hip replacement surgery involves making a larger incision than minimally invasive techniques and involves more extensive dissection of the surrounding tissues to access the hip joint. Some examples of hip replacement surgeries that may involve open techniques include:
Traditional Posterior Approach Hip Replacement
This technique involves making a larger incision at the back of the hip joint and dissecting through muscles to access and replace the damaged hip joint.
Lateral Approach Hip Replacement
This technique involves making a larger incision at the side of the hip joint and dissecting through muscles to access and replace the damaged hip joint.
Revision Hip Replacement
This procedure is typically more complex than a primary hip replacement and may require a larger incision and more extensive dissection of the surrounding tissues to remove the old implant and replace it with a new one.
Although minimally invasive techniques are generally associated with faster recovery times and less pain, open hip replacement surgery may be necessary in some instances to achieve the best possible outcome for the patient. The choice of surgical technique will depend on the patient's age, health status, and the extent of damage to the hip joint.
The Different Types Of Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery is a common orthopaedic procedure used to treat severe hip pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility caused by a variety of conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis and fractures. There are different types of hip replacement surgeries, including total hip replacement, partial hip replacement, hip resurfacing, and revision hip replacement, each tailored to the individual patient's needs.
The techniques used during the surgery, whether minimally invasive or open, will depend on various factors, including the extent of the damage to the hip joint, and the patient's age and health status. Ultimately, hip replacement surgery can improve the quality of life for patients who have exhausted other treatment options, allowing them to regain mobility and reduce pain.