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Hip replacement treatments and procedures are often suggested due to damage caused by osteoarthritis or injuries that limit a person's range of motion, mobility, and comfort. Different types of procedures or treatments are recommended depending upon the need of an individual patient. Today's hip replacement surgeries tend to be minimally invasive surgical procedures that are often recommended after bone scans, MRIs, x-rays, and ultrasound determine the extent of damage to bones in hip joints.
Conventional hip replacement surgery
Minimally invasive surgery
In order to be considered for hip replacement surgery, patients must meet certain criteria. An orthopedic surgeon must be able to see damage to cartilage surrounding the joint area. In addition, other indications for hip replacement surgery may include but are not limited to, chronic pain, no relief from medications, difficulty walking, trouble standing from a seated position, and an inability to enjoy the quality of life because of chronic pain and reduced mobility. However, hip replacement candidates should be aware that some factors might prevent hip replacement surgery, including but not limited to uncontrolled high blood pressure, poor overall health, or disabling heart diseases or infections.
Conventional hip replacement surgery is a procedure that includes incisions determined by physical size. The muscles around the hip joint are detached, the ball joint of the hip removed, and replaced with a prosthesis or artificial joint. The artificial joint will be attached to the thighbone using special materials that allow the bone to reattach to the new joint or by using a cement-like product.
The surgeon then removes damaged cartilage and attaches a replacement socket to the hipbone. The new ball of the thighbone is inserted into the socket portion of the hip. The surgeon will then reattach severed muscles and close the incision. This procedure usually requires an incision from 8 to 10 inches long along the side of the hip.
Minimally invasive surgery involves a one or two-incision technique where the length of the incisions is half those that are commonly used for conventional hip replacement surgeries. The one-incision surgical technique is commonly used for procedures that require less bone removal and involves an incision roughly 4 to 5 inches long. This incision is made either in the front or back of the hip. Other than the size of the incision, the technique for the actual replacement of the ball joint is the same as that in conventional surgery.
The two-inch surgical procedure involves making two incisions that usually don' exceed 2 1/2 inches in length. One incision provides access from the front of the hip to place the prosthesis, while another small incision is made to the back of the hip to facilitate placement of the ball component. This procedure also eliminates the need to cut through muscles and tendons. This surgical technique comes with a higher rate of complications, so while minimally invasive, does has its drawbacks.
Hip resurfacing is a technique that replaces worn surfaces on the hip joint. Nothing is removed. This technique requires less bone to be removed than that involved in a hip replacement, and caters to physically active patients as well as those who are younger, with good bone health.
Hip replacement surgical procedures help to restore the range of movement and quality of life to those suffering from osteoarthritis or other degenerative bone diseases. Patients generally recuperate within a few weeks and may return to normal activities within six to eight weeks. Depending on health, physical stamina, and strength, many hip replacement surgery patients are able to fully recover their range of motion and movement within a couple of months.
Hip replacement surgical procedures may cost up to $43,000 in the United States. In Singapore and Thailand however, medical tourist patients may benefit from hip replacement surgical procedures that cost about $12,000. In India, the cost can range from about $9,000-$10,000.
An orthopedic surgeon will perform most hip placement procedures. Minimally invasive hip replacement techniques require great skill and orthopedic surgeons should be trained and experienced in this field. An orthopedic surgeon should be board certified in their country of origin, which is a result of passing exams that are often given one to two years after entering active practice. Board certification requires that surgeons continue to learn the latest techniques by attending continuing education seminars and training. Hip replacement requires that an orthopedic surgeon sub-specialize in joint replacement procedures and techniques for optimal results.
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