Hip Replacement Surgery
Current hip replacements are performed through much less invasive techniques than in the past. The hip replacement was first performed in 1948 but underwent significant improvement during the 1960’s. Continued research and improvement in techniques and implants have continued over the years. The main goal of the procedure is to decrease pain and restore function.
The length of the incision is dependent on many factors, especially patient size. The smallest incision is utilized in order to perform the surgery correctly. If too small an incision is used, then visualization is compromised and the hip replacement components may not be placed in the most optimal position. Regardless of the length of the incision, less muscle and soft tissue are cut during the surgery compared to the recent past. This allows for less pain and a faster recovery.
A variety of implants and fixation techniques are currently available. Currently, most hip replacements do not use cement. Cement fixation was common in the past. Non-cemented implants have a porous surface which allows your bone to grow into the implant, allowing fixation without cement. Cement fixation is still used in certain cases.
The new ball is attached to a stem which is implanted into the femur (thigh bone). The new socket is machined into your acetabulum (pelvic bone). Both implants are made of metal, either titanium or cobalt-chromium, both of which are extremely strong and proven to work. A bearing surface is placed inside the metal socket for the new ball to smoothly articulate and move within.
Your hip replacement is made to last a long time. Numerous studies have demonstrated at least 90% of implants functioning well at least 15 years after surgery. We hope that with today’s technologies and improvements in technique these numbers improve either further.