A senior woman sitting and holding her hip with two hands in pain. Hip replacement surgery has become more common over the last few years. In fact, orthopedic surgeons have recently performed an estimated 330,000 hip replacements annually. And in the past 10 years, there have been numerous changes, technological advancements, and medical innovations that have made the management and treatment of hip pain and hip replacement safer, more precise, and more effective.

At EmergeOrtho—Blue Ridge Region, our board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic hip surgeons are considered some of the best hip replacement surgeons in North Carolina. If you are considering surgery and wondering which method of hip replacement is the best, our answer is “It depends.” It depends on a number of factors including your age, bone quality, activity level, and more—all of which our highly experienced surgeons will discuss and consider when helping you choose the best hip replacement for you.

What is Total Hip Replacement?

Total hip replacement, also known as total hip arthroplasty, is a surgery that involves removing the damaged parts of your hip joint and replacing them with prosthetic—or artificial—parts.

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, and during the surgery, the damaged femoral head (the ball) is removed and replaced with a metal or ceramic ball attached to a stem that is inserted into the thigh bone (femur). The damaged socket is also replaced with a cup-shaped prosthetic component that is fixed to the pelvis. The new components are designed to mimic the natural movement of the hip joint, allowing patients to regain mobility and reduce pain.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Total Hip Replacement?

We typically recommend a total hip replacement for patients who suffer from chronic hip pain and stiffness due to arthritis or other degenerative conditions. Surgeons may also recommend it for patients who have experienced a hip fracture or other trauma to the hip joint.

A good candidate for total hip replacement is someone who has tried nonsurgical treatments such as medication, physical therapy, and assistive devices, but has not gotten relief from their symptoms. The ideal candidate is also someone who is in good overall health, without any underlying medical conditions that could increase the risk of complications during or after surgery.

4 Methods of Hip Replacement: the Pros and Cons

There are four different types of hip replacement surgeries we typically perform, each designed to address specific hip joint conditions. The four main types of hip replacement are:

1. Partial Hip Replacement

Partial hip replacement, also known as hemiarthroplasty, involves replacing only the damaged part of the hip joint with a prosthetic implant. This type of hip replacement is usually performed in elderly patients with a fractured femoral neck.

Advantages:

  • Shorter surgery time and recovery period
  • Lower risk of complications
  • Suitable for elderly patients with weaker bones

Disadvantages:

  • Limited range of motion
  • May require revision surgery in the future

2. Total Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement, also known as total hip arthroplasty, involves replacing the entire hip joint with a prosthetic implant. This procedure is typically performed in patients with severe hip joint damage caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other conditions.

Advantages:

  • Improved mobility and quality of life
  • Long-lasting results
  • Suitable for patients with severe hip joint damage

Disadvantages:

  • Longer surgery time and recovery period
  • Risk of complications, such as infection or dislocation
  • May require revision surgery in the future

3. Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing is a surgical procedure that involves reshaping the damaged surface of the hip joint and capping it with a metal prosthesis, or artificial part. This type of hip replacement is most often used for younger patients with good bone quality and minimal arthritis.

Advantages:

  • Lower risk of dislocation
  • Reduced bone loss
  • Suitable for younger patients with good bone quality

Disadvantages:

  • Higher risk of complications, such as fractures or metal ion release
  • Not suitable for patients with severe hip joint damage or osteoporosis

4. Revision of Hip Replacement

Revision of hip replacement is a surgery done to replace a previously implanted hip prosthesis that has become damaged, infected, or failed. It may involve replacing some or all of the components of the original hip replacement.

Advantages:

  • Improved joint stability and function
  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • Correction of any issues with the original hip replacement

Disadvantages:

  • Longer surgery time and recovery period
  • Higher risk of complications, such as infection or dislocation
  • May require multiple revision surgeries in the future.

Determining the Best Method for Total Hip Replacement

Determining the best method for your total hip replacement depends on several factors, including your age, bone quality, activity level, overall health, any underlying medical conditions that could affect the surgery, as well as other medical issues unique to your situation. Our surgeons take the time to discuss your individual health situation and your particular goals and develop a personalized hip replacement treatment plan.

Though generally safe, hip surgery comes with some risks that surgeons consider when they evaluate if you are a good candidate and which is the best method for your hip replacement. The overall success rate for total hip replacement is high, and patients can expect significant improvements in their mobility and quality of life. It is important to discuss the options with us and have a thorough evaluation to determine which hip replacement is best for you.

Schedule your appointment today and Emerge Stronger, Healthier, and Better.

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