Damaged and painful joints are often treated with medicines, alongside physical therapy, medical research says. In the event that conservative treatment does not cause any improvement, surgical repair is advised. The patient may go through either total hip replacement (THR) or its alternate procedure, the hip resurfacing arthroplasty. However, a forum on medical technology finds out that metal-on-metal hip resurfacing too risky.
Hip resurfacing is commonly done on younger patients suffering from severe hip arthritis. Young patients, below the age of 60, are advised to have hip resurfacing instead of the total hip replacement because they may face multiple surgeries over the course of their lifetime. Hip resurfacing removes less bone and is thought to help prevent complications brought by hip revision surgery.
How does the surgery takes place?
The concept of surface replacement, also known as hip resurfacing, originated in the 1970s as an attempt to preserve bone during the implantation of an artificial hip joint. Maintenance of normal bone is seen in hip resurfacing. The whole ball and socket joint is not removed. Instead, a metal cap is placed around the spot where the cartilage has worn off.
The surgeon may gain access into the hip joint using two different incisions. Frontal access of the joint is achieved through the anterior approach. In the posterior approach, the incision is from the back. However, either the anterior or posterior is the right approach. Each approach depends on the training and experience of the surgeon.
The usual length of a hip resurfacing is one and one-half to three hours. The operation begins by making a 15-20 centimeter-long incision in the side of the thigh. Dislocation of the femoral head out of the socket follows. Using a specially designed power instrument, the head is cut down. A metal cap is placed over the prepared femoral head. The cartilage that lines the socket is removed with a power tool called a reamer. A metal cup, held in place by friction between the bone and the metal, is pushed into the socket. The incision is closed once the cup is in place and the femoral head is placed back into the socket.
The patient is transferred to the recovery after the operation where he will be closely monitored by the nurse. Transfer to the patient’s room will follow if after two hours he presents normal vital signs.
Hip resurfacing is thought of as a viable alternative by approximately 10-15% of candidates for hip replacement. Although it is believed that the procedure has lesser complications than THR, it is best to consult a health care provider. The surgical technique as well as the hip implant to be used must be thoroughly discussed. An ASR hip replacement recall was ordered last year by DePuy Orthopedics after it was discovered through certain studies that the implant failed earlier than expected.