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Over the years, hip stabilization procedures were limited to surgical intervention, with long recovery times and intensive physical therapy exercise programs. Not only did these procedures cause much discomfort and activity limitations, they did not last for longer than fifteen to twenty years at most, causing complications as the years progressed.
Benefits of Hip Stabilization Procedures
Hip stabilization procedures can range from simple to complex exercise plans to surgery. Without a stable hip area, the whole body is affected, causing imbalance in walking, limiting activities and creating a potential for frequent falls due to lack of hip and leg strength and stability. Hip stabilization procedures can strengthen muscles around the hip joint and offer mobility and range of motion in the joint itself that can last a lifetime.
Hip Stabilization Procedures
There are three main avenues for hip stabilization procedures and are utilized by orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists.
Physical Therapy non-surgical techniques.
Invasive surgical procedures
Minimally invasive alternative, the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing technique
In basic physical therapy modalities, the physical therapist evaluates the current condition of the hip joint and its surrounding muscles, tendon and ligaments. If surgery is not indicated at this time, the therapist will initiate an exercise plan that targets range of motion, pain reduction, and strengthening of and in the hip muscles and surrounding tissues. Physical therapy may be daily or several times a week as progress and other conditions dictate.
Invasive surgical procedures such as Total Hip Replacement surgery may be employed if the hip socket or head of the hip bone is diseased or damaged beyond repair. In this procedure the bone itself is replaced by a metal or compound/plastic joint, after removal of the damaged natural joint. Recovery can be painful and long, lasting up to six to eight weeks if no other complications or limitation s exist.
Physical therapy is started immediately to repair torn muscles, ligaments and tendons and focuses on re training the muscles, tendon and ligaments to full range of motion and weight bearing duties. Recovery time can be slow and painful, and consist of daily physical therapy sessions lasting up to two hours long on a daily basis to start and then decreasing in the weeks that follow. Therapy may require 8 weeks’ time and often continues after discharge from the hospital or recovery unit. These types of joint replacement often last approximately 15 to 20 years.
Newer procedures that are less invasive and damaging to surrounding tissues have been emerging, enabling the patient to recover more quickly and with fewer complications. This procedure is ideal for younger patients who often damage the hip joint during physical activity and sports, and for those without disease in the bone itself.
This newer procedure is called the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing procedure and involves less trauma to the hip joint and has lasting effects, up to decades, without complications. This procedure has been in use since 1997 and uses an all metal ball and socket to prevent wearing. Increased stability is maintained by resurfacing the bone instead of complete removal. High impact sports or other may be continued with this type of procedure due to increased strength of the hip joint itself, making it extremely popular with young and middle age adults.
Recovery time is usually totally completed within 8 weeks and high impact sports can usually be resumed within three to six months.
How Much Does Hip Stabilization Cost?
Hip stabilization costs an average of $17,000 in the U.S., depending on region and severity of hip injury or need for therapy, surgical access or orthopedic equipment. In cases where surgery is required, costs may be close to those of hip replacement procedures, which may cost up to $43,000 in the United States. In Singapore and Thailand however, medical tourist patients may benefit from hip stabilization and replacement surgical procedures that cost about $12,000. In India, the cost can range from about $9,000-$10,000.
Who Performs Hip Stabilization Procedures?
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 from 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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