Damaged and painful joints are often treated with medicines, alongside physical therapy, medical research says. Surgical repair is only advocated for cases where non-invasive procedures were not successful. The total hip replacement (THR) or the hip resurfacing arthroplasty, an alternative procedure, may be advised. But, based on the findings of a medical technology forum the metal-on-metal hip resurfacing too risky.
Younger patients who have severe hip arthritis are usually advised to undergo hip resurfacing. 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.
What happens during the procedure?
As the effort to preserve bone during implantation of the synthetic hip joint immersed in 1970, medical practitioners began to consider surface replacement or hip resurfacing. Hip resurfacing involves less bone removal. The whole ball and socket joint is not removed. Rather, the area of the worn out cartilage is placed with a metal cap.
Surgeons perform the procedure using two different incisions into the hip joint. In the anterior approach, access is gained on the front part of the hip. In the posterior approach, the incision is from the back. There is no one right approach, though. The training and experience of the surgeon determines what approach to take.
Generally, a hip resurfacing procedure finishes after one and one-half to three hours. The operation starts upon incision of the thigh 15-20 centimeters long. Dislocation of the femoral head out of the socket follows. Using a specially designed power instrument, the head is cut down. On the trimmed femoral head, a cap is placed. A special tool called a reamer is used to remove the cartilage from the acetabulum. With the friction between the bone and the metal to hold it in place, a metal cup is pushed into the socket. Once the cup is in place, the femoral head is relocated back into the socket and the incision is closed.
The patient will now stay in the recovery room for close monitoring by the attending nurse. If after two hours patient’s vital signs are within normal range, he will be cleared to go back to his room.
Hip resurfacing is thought of as a viable alternative by approximately 10-15% of candidates for hip replacement. While the procedure poses fewer complications than THR, it would be best if you consult a health care provider for a careful assessment. The surgical technique as well as the hip implant to be used must be thoroughly discussed. The ASR hip system of DePuy Orthopedics is undergoing a worldwide ASR hip replacement recall after studies show that the device was found defective.