Hip replacement surgery can help restore joint mobility, especially when conservative treatment efforts have failed. It is vital to know the operation’s risks and benefits.
Patients should understand how the surgery works and the variations of the surgery available to them. Knowing about hip replacement techniques will help you make optimal healthcare decisions with your doctor.
What Is Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip replacement surgery is a major operation that often helps with cases of extensive damage to the hip joint. A healthy joint consists of sturdy bone tissue protected by a resilient layer of cartilage and supported by strong ligaments.
Direct trauma or degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis can erode the protective cartilage layer and deform the underlying bone. These effects can make movement painful and limit your range of motion.
During hip replacement surgery, your surgeon replaces the damaged hip joint with an artificial polymer, metal, or ceramic implant. This promotes better movement and can last for years, which helps to restore mobility.
Traditional Hip Replacement Surgery
Traditional methods for hip replacement surgery require open access to the joint, necessitating a large incision. Patients typically receive general or spinal anesthesia to numb the entire hip during and immediately after surgery.
The surgeon makes the incision, passing through layers of skin and muscle to reach the joint. They may also need to cut some ligaments to enable better access to the site, allowing for temporary dislocation.
Total Versus Partial Hip Replacement
In total hip replacement surgery, the surgeon will replace the entire ball-and-socket joint with artificial material. In contrast, a partial hip replacement only requires swapping the ball portion with an implant. The replacement ball contains a stem inserted into the thigh bone for adequate force transfer during use. Meanwhile, the socket is attached to the pelvic bone.
Once the artificial joint is in place, the surgeon will move your leg to verify that the implant works correctly. They will reattach any cut ligaments, then use sutures to close the incision.
You may spend a few hours in a recovery room after surgery, followed by a stay in your hospital room. You might be able to go home on the same day, or you might remain in hospital confinement for some time post-surgery.
Hip replacement surgery is classified based on how your surgeon approaches the hip joint. Typical procedures include:
- Lateral approach – the incision is at the side
- Posterior approach – the incision is made from the back, or
- Anterior approach – the surgeon cuts from the front of the hip
The anterior approach is less invasive since it doesn’t require significant muscle incisions. However, all three result in successful post-surgery outcomes.
Surgeons typically opt for their most familiar technique to ensure they can leverage their experience to deliver the best benefits.
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement Surgery
Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery presents an alternative to the more traditional operative techniques. With this technique, doctors do their best to minimize collateral damage to nearby structures.
These techniques make use of shorter incisions and rely on approaches that limit the involvement of muscle, connective tissue, and blood vessels.
Minimally invasive techniques lead to lower pain and quicker recovery times. They also reduce the risk of complications, such as bleeding and hip dislocation. However, minimally invasive techniques are not recommended for all cases.
Your physical condition will determine if you qualify for this approach. Your surgeon’s skill also plays a part in making minimally invasive techniques feasible.
Hip Replacement Surgery in Kingsport, TN
Given its status as a major operation, hip replacement surgery requires preparation and skill to yield the best results. Placing an artificial hip joint is not a straightforward procedure. The incisions lead to post-operative pain and require a lengthy recovery period to resolve. However, minimally invasive techniques, and careful decisions about which surgical approaches are right for you,help maximize the benefits of your surgery.
Working with an experienced healthcare provider should help you access the best orthopedic care you deserve. Associated Orthopaedics works with patients through our office in Kingsport, Tennessee. Our physicians can help you with disease management, diagnosis, and treatment, from sports medicine to joint replacement. We offer a wide range of orthopedic services to help you restore your mobility and live the life you want.
Learn more by calling us at (423) 245-3161 or by using our online appointment form. We look forward to serving you!