Hip Operations

Common Types of Hip Operations

Hip operations are certainly nothing a person wants to go through but there are times when surgery can restore a person’s mobility, as well as diminish or eliminate pain.  When it comes to surgery on the hips, typically only a few operations are done.  Of course, no matter the type of operation it is essential that only a board certified surgeon perform the work and in a state-of-the-art facility.  If you are in a position of needing an operation on one or both hips, you want to make sure you do your homework first so you get the desired results at the hands of a highly skilled surgeon.

Hip Resurfacing

One of the more common types of hip operations is resurfacing.  For this, a trained orthopedic surgeon would first determine that this type of surgery would in fact achieve the goal.  Once determined hip resurfacing is a viable solution, the femur head would be reshaped and the femoral shell resurfaced.  This operation is performed as an alternative to hip replacement to help reduce or eliminate pain, as well as provide better stability to the hip joint.  One advantage to this surgery is that any risk of dislocation is small.

With this type of surgery, a significant amount of bone is left intact and unlike hip replacement, the femur neck shaft is not removed.  Usually, hip operations involving resurfacing are geared more toward people 55 and under who live an active life.  Thanks to new technology, surgery is very successful in most cases.  Recovery from this surgery takes anywhere from six weeks to three months but with rehabilitation, regaining an active lifestyle without pain is possible.

Interestingly, for this surgery a variety of prosthesis are used but the orthopedic surgeon would discuss this with you for the right choice to be made.  In addition, more and more people are going to Germany to have the surgery performed.  Not only are the doctors there highly skilled because they do so many hip operations of this type but from a price standpoint, you would pay as much as 75% than in the United States.

Hip Revision

When it comes to hip operations, a hip revision is another option routinely performed.  Also known as Arthroplasty, hip revision surgery involves an artificial hip joint that had been surgically implanted previously, or an existing prosthesis to be removed and replaced.  Depending on the actual case, bone grafts may also be included.  If so, this could be in the form of an auto graft, which is when bone from another place in the patient’s own body is used.  However, the alternative is an allograft, which involves bone from a donor to be used.

Hip operations of this kind are used for three reasons.  The first is to reduce or eliminate pain, second is to provide mobility, and the third is to remove a damaged prosthesis or loose implant doing harm to the joint.  Because prosthesis are made from polyethylene, the material does eventually wear down at which time tissue can become inflamed.  Over time, the soft tissue would expand, causing the prosthesis to pull away from the bone but also to cause pain.

Typically, these hip operations are only considered after more conservative options are tried such as pain medication and therapy.  Although the above mentioned reasons are the most common, hip revision is also used in some cases when the hip has been fractured, an infection has set in within the hip joint, or prosthesis has become dislocated.


Hip Replacement

The last of the more common types of hip operations is the actual hip replacement.  Surgery of this type is performed when both ends of the hip bone have been damaged.  To correct the problem, the femur or upper end of the thighbone is replaced with a metal ball while at the same time the hip socket in the pelvic bone is resurfaced using a plastic liner and metal shell.  In addition, surgery replaces any damaged cartilage using new joint material.

Today, incisions required for hip replacement surgery is much smaller, which means the surgery overall is less invasive.  After the operation, you would rest with pain and anti-inflammatory medication for a few days, followed by rehabilitation to strengthen the body and help you regain full mobility.  After hip operations such as this many restrictions would apply for the first eight weeks and full healing can take months but when done, the hip is restored as if new.