The ultimate goal of a hip replacement is to get people back on their feet, and back to their lives without pain. Techniques to do that are continuing to evolve.
“It’s interesting to see the changes in the design of the prosthesis and the way that we put them in, so we put them in better and they last longer,” says Dr. John Kagan, an orthopedic surgeon with the Lee Memorial Health System medical staff.
The fundamentals of hip replacement hasn’t changed. It entails moving the femoral ball, grinding out the worn socket and replacing the ball and socket with metal and plastic components.
Hip replacement is the second most common joint replacement surgery, closely following the artificial knee. But unlike the knee, people who suffer from hip arthritis are more inclined to take speedy action.
“People with hip arthritis generally get worse quicker and want to have something done, people with knee arthritis can tolerate a lot of wear and tear changes in the joints. When people have an arthritic hip they lose motion, they have a lot of groin pain, and they want to get something done to get back to their activities,” says Dr. Kagan.
In the last ten years hip replacement has seen considerable growth and research that has improved techniques.
“Whereas the incisions we make now might be this big the incisions we used to make might be that big,” says Dr. Kagan.
Patients are up on their feet quicker with improved mobility.
“This is about improving someone’s life style, this is about decreasing pain and improving their function. That’s why people have a hip replacement,” says Dr. Kagan.For a growing number of Americans who can no longer get relief non-operatively, hip replacement gives them a new lease on life.