When it comes to medical procedures, hip replacement surgery has among the highest success rates. Because of advancements in technology and surgical methods for replacing joints, the success rate of total hip replacement has increased substantially since the 1960s.
What is hip replacement surgery?
Hip replacement surgery involves removing and replacing the hip joint’s underlying bones, the pelvis and the femur. Hip arthritis pain and stiffness are the primary explanations why people get this surgery.
Trauma, such as a fractured or immaturely developing hip, is another common indication for this surgery.
How many types of hip replacement procedures are there?
Three main types of hip replacement are available:
- Total hip replacement (most common)
- Partial hip replacement
- Hip resurfacing
Total hip replacement, sometimes known as total hip arthroplasty, is the surgical procedure most often used to replace a hip. This surgical procedure involves the replacement of damaged or worn hip components with artificial ones.
A long-lasting plastic cup, which could or might not have a titanium metal shell, replaces the socket. A ceramic or metal alloy ball will replace your natural femoral head after its removal.
Inserted into your femur’s upper half is a metal stem that holds the replacement ball in place.
What are the signs that it’s time to have a hip replacement?
It could be time to get a hip replacement if chronic hip discomfort affects your daily life. Some indicators of a deteriorating quality of life are-
- Disrupted sleep due to discomfort
- Has trouble with daily activities like getting dressed or using the stairs.
- Limitations that prevent you from enjoying life to the fullest
- Medications for inflammation or discomfort, walking aids, joint injections, and physical therapy are some other options that your doctor may first suggest.
- Hip replacement surgery might be an option to restore function and enhance quality of life if non-surgical treatments fail to alleviate pain and stiffness.
Components of Total Hip Replacement
The key components of a total hip replacement are as follows.
- A titanium or stainless steel cup is inserted into the patient’s acetabulum.
- The new femoral head fits into the cup through an impact on a liner (which is made of ceramic or polyethylene) that acts as an interface.
The components of a femoral implant are-
- A spherical cap (often titanium or stainless steel) that fits over the stem’s neck and makes contact with the liner.
- Both a fixed, cone-shaped neck and a modular neck are available. A modular neck allows the surgeon to customize the implant to the specific form of the patient’s femur when the femoral stem is compatible.
- A cylindrical piece of metal, commonly stainless steel or titanium, implanted into the femur.
Role of the Femoral Head in Total Hip Replacement
In a total hip replacement, the femoral head, the ball part of the hip joint’s ball-and-socket design, is a key component. It can move in various directions, just like a healthy hip, because of its spherical design.
The femoral head glides smoothly over the acetabular cup, which acts as the joint’s articulating surface.
The stability, appropriate size, and alignment of the femoral head are critical to the success of the treatment as a whole, as they guarantee efficient load transfer and reduce wear.
The femoral head is important in maximizing the performance and durability of total hip replacements.
Surgeons take patient-specific characteristics into consideration when choosing the proper size and material. Improvements in design, materials, and customization have further strengthened the importance of this component.
Surgical Procedure for Femoral Head Total Hip Replacement
These are the main components of the femoral head total hip replacement surgical process.
- Before surgery, identify the patient’s needs and determine the optimal implant size.
- Place the patient in a favorable position for access.
- Cut a small cut on the hip’s side for the surgical incision.
- One must first do a soft tissue dissection to access the hip joint.
- The hip joint can be reached by dislocating the femoral head.
- After a femoral head injury, the surgeon will remove the affected head.
- Insert the Femoral Component Into the Femoral Canal in the Femoral Joint.
- Get the acetabulum ready for the acetabular component by following these steps.
- Arrange the bearing surfaces so that they allow for easy articulation.
- Verify joint Flexibility and Stability.
- Sew or staple the incision shut to close the wound.
- Keep an eye on the patient while they recuperate from surgery, get them started on a rehabilitation program, and provide them post-op care instructions.
Types of Femoral Heads
- Metal Femoral Heads
Metal femoral heads are made of titanium or cobalt-chromium alloys for long-term use.
- Ceramic Femoral Heads
Femoral heads made of ceramic, such as zirconia or alumina, provide smooth articulation.
- Metal-on-Metal Femoral Heads
Femoral heads made of metal on metal are less prevalent because people are worried about the discharge of metal ions.
- Bipolar Femoral Heads
The outer head, including an inner bearing surface for some circumstances, is known as a bipolar femoral head.
- Dual Mobility Femoral Heads
For increased steadiness, use a pair of mobility femoral heads.
Benefits of Femoral Head Total Hip Replacement
The following are some of the advantages of femoral head complete hip replacement:
- Reduces the severity of chronic hip pain, hence enhancing the quality of life overall.
- Restores joint function, enabling greater range of motion and higher mobility. This results in improved mobility.
- It helps to increase joint stability, thus lowering the possibility of dislocation.
- The correction of deformities enhances alignment by correcting any abnormalities or deformities that may be present in the hip joint.
- The implant’s lifespan is a result of the use of contemporary materials and processes, which contribute to its durability.
- There are many different types of femoral heads, which allow for customization based on the requirements and preferences of the patient.
- Recent developments in bearing surfaces have resulted in a reduction in wear and friction, which has lengthened the lifespan of the implant.
- Recovery in a shorter amount of time with minimally invasive procedures may result in quicker recovery and shorter hospital stays.
Risks and Complications
Risks may be involved, as there always are with major surgeries. When considering surgical options, assessing the procedure’s benefits against any risks is important.
Making sure you are aware of these dangers before surgery is important.
Medical (general) or hip-specific complications are possible.
Potential risks to your health and the anesthesia process itself are medical complications. There are many more medical conditions that might arise; thus, this list is by no means exhaustive.
- Allergic responses to drugs
- Despite the minimal danger of disease transmission, blood loss necessitating transfusion
- Cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular accident, renal disease, pneumonia, and infections of the bladder and ureters
- Nerve block complications include infection or injury,
- Serious health issues can result in chronic pain, extended hospital stays, or, in extreme cases, deadly complications.
Advances and Innovations
Patients have benefited greatly from the field’s recent discoveries and advancements in total hip replacement, which have transformed the procedure.
With navigation and robots, minimally invasive procedures can put implants precisely, and patients may recuperate more quickly.
3D printing technology enables the creation of customized implants, significantly improving their fit and functionality.
Ceramics and highly cross-linked polyethylene are two examples of modern materials that can increase durability and resistance to wear.
Modern advancements such as dual mobility implants improve stability, and implants made for each patient adapt the process to their unique anatomy.
Recent advances in ambulatory surgery, quick recovery procedures, and biological coatings that encourage bone integration hastened the rehabilitation process.
Embedded sensors in smart implants allow for real-time monitoring, and regenerative medicine research is promising for future alternatives.
These developments herald a sea change toward complete hip replacement surgeries that are more exact, focused on patients, and tech-driven.
Wrapping It Up
Although no one looks forward to surgery, it may be the only option for certain chronic patients who are unable to live a regular life due to their illness. A surgical procedure may be considered as part of your treatment plan; this option has the potential to reduce discomfort and restore function to your injured joints.