Your hip is one of the most important (and most used) joints in your body, and if it starts to slow down, your entire life can slow down with it. Like other joint issues, hip problems are usually treated first via non-surgical techniques that can include physical therapy, steroid injections or lifestyle changes. But if none of that has helped and your pain is hindering your daily life, it may be time to consider a hip replacement.
Hip replacement is commonly recommended for osteoarthritis that doesn’t respond to other treatments, but it also can be used to relieve inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or fractures stemming from injury or osteoporosis.
If you do opt for the operating room, you’ll be in good company — around 300,000 Americans undergo hip-replacement surgery each year. The procedure can be performed in several ways; you and your surgeon will decide which is right for you.
With hip resurfacing versus. replacement, the original joint remains in place but is covered with a thin sheet of metal. Only a few centimeters of bone is removed, just enough to ensure a tight fit with the metal. (Think of it like getting a cap on your tooth.) It comes with a lower risk of dislocation, and since much of the original bone is preserved, patients may be able to return to a higher level of activity once they’re healed.
Partial Hip Replacement
Also called a hemiarthroplasty, a partial hip replacement replaces only the ball of the hip joint, leaving the socket intact. Its primary use is to treat fractures and other traumatic hip injuries where the ball is cracked and cannot be pinned.
Partial hip replacement is not typically used to treat degenerative conditions where both parts of the joint have been damaged. At Alexander Orthopaedics, partial hip replacement is a rare procedure and only typically performed on elderly patients who break their hip and cannot have a total hip replacement.
Total Hip Replacement
When someone mentions having a hip replacement, this is usually the procedure that comes to mind. A total hip replacement removes both the ball and socket from the damaged join and replaces them with prosthetics made from metal, plastic or ceramic. It can either be done traditionally (called the anterior approach) through the front of the leg, or via a minimally invasive incision through the back of the joint (posterior approach) which is more conventional.
Smart Total Hip Replacement
In a traditional total hip replacement, one area of risk is for a postoperative hip dislocation. But a proven innovation in hip-replacement surgery called the Smart Total Hip Replacement helps reduce that chance.
The procedure, developed by Dr. Vladimir Alexander, of Alexander Orthopedics, uses a semi-posterior incision that can decrease the risk of post-op dislocation.
Don’t let a sore hip keep you from enjoying life. Alexander Orthopaedics is the only practice in the Tampa Bay area that specializes in outpatient total joint replacement surgery, which means you’ll be back on your feet quicker. Schedule an appointment today and get started on the path back to a pain-free life.