Total Hip Joint Replacement

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You Don’t Have to Live with Joint Pain

Throughout your day, you may use your joints much more than you realize. Activities such as squatting, walking, and turning your body all utilize your hip joints and knee joints. When functioning correctly, these joints work in conjunction with each other to help you move freely and without any level of pain. However, when these joints become injured or even diseased, the pain that results can hamper your range of motion and your quality of life. Osteoarthritis, a more common type of degenerative joint disease, affects upwards of 43 million individuals just in the United States alone. Whether you are pondering a total joint replacement or simply assessing your treatment options, this article and website is here for you. Not only will it help you understand the different causes of your hip joint pain, but it will provide you with a variety of treatment options to help you return to your life before the pain.

After you have read all the information we have, consult with your physician concerning questions you may have. By improving your knowledge over the subject, you are allowing yourself the ability to choose the best course of action for your hip pain.

What is a Hip Joint?

Simply put, a hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint. This is made up of the ball, medically referred to as the femoral head, the end of your thighbone, and the rounded socket in your pelvic bone, medically referred to as the acetabulum. To help cushion your bones and aid in pain-free movement, cartilage is often present at the end of these joints. The remainder of the joint is coated in a rather thin tissue lining medically referred to as the synovium. This tissue produces a lubricant to not only help reduce friction but also to help reduce wear in the joint.

Common Causes of Joint Pain

Osteoarthritis (OA)
Osteoarthritis, also referred to as degenerative arthritis, is a condition which involves the deterioration of both bone and cartilage within the joints. The pain felt with this condition is due to bones rubbing together because there is no longer cartilage present cushioning the joints. While anyone can be affected with osteoarthritis, it often occurs in individuals older than 50 and those that have a family history of the disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
With rheumatoid arthritis, the synovium becomes thick and inflamed. As a result, too much fluid is created to lubricate the joints. This, in turn, causes a chronic inflammation issue that results in damage to the surrounding cartilage. Total loss of the cartilage, chronic pain, and joint stiffness are all common due to this condition. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects women more than men at a rate of 3 to 1. For those that are affected, not only can joint damage be possible, but organ damage is also a possibility.

Post-traumatic Arthritis
This type of arthritis is most commonly seen after some sort of extensive damage to the joint area. What happens is that the bone and/or the cartilage does not heal as it normally should. When this occurs, the joint itself no longer retains its smoothness, so the now irregular joint causes more wear overall, leading to faster deterioration.

Avascular Necrosis
Avascular necrosis arises when bones do not receive a normal amount of blood. Lacking the proper nutrition that a normal blood supply provides, the bone’s overall structure becomes weak and has the potential to collapse and cause extensive damage to the surrounding cartilage.

Paget’s Disease
Apart from the others on this list, Paget’s disease is a bone disease that primarily affects the hip. With Paget’s disease, the density and overall shape of the bone changes due to faster-than-normal bone formation. Pain from the joint can result from both this and direct injury to the joint. For some individuals, the joint pain is made increasingly worse by the refusal to use the already painful joint. This causes the surrounding muscles to weaken, which results in more difficulty maneuvering the joint.

Treatment Options for Hip Pain
After undergoing a professional evaluation, a Fort Myers, Estero and Naples orthopedic surgeon will both review your results and discuss them with you. Once a diagnosis has been made, a variety of treatment options may be available to you including:

  • Medication
  • Joint fluid supplements
  • Physical therapy
  • Joint replacement

Total Hip Replacement Surgery in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples

Deemed one of the most important surgical advancements in recent memory, hip replacement surgery helps over 300,000 Americans each year to not only ease their pain but regain their former quality of life. A hip doctor will remove both the damaged or diseased end of the bone, along with any damaged cartilage, and replace with synthetic implants that replicate a normal functioning hip joint.

This type of surgery can be considered if the resulting pain limits your daily activities such as walking, continues when you are resting, or the stiffness reaches such a point where it limits your range of motion. After a proper diagnosis, hip replacement surgery can be recommended, but typically anti-inflammatory drugs are often used at first to avoid surgical intervention. If the pain does not cease from this and other treatments, such as physical therapy, surgical intervention is often the next step to help relieve your suffering.

Total hip replacement, as previously mentioned, is often reserved for individuals who:

– Live with a debilitating joint disease which has resulted from a chronic form of arthritis.
– Do not experience relief from less invasive procedures.
– Have poor bone stock that will not allow for other types of reconstruction methods.

During a hip replacement surgery at the Institute for Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples, the worn area of your hip joint is replaced with a synthetic material, often ceramic or metal, and firmly inserted into the hip socket. Your hip specialist will prepare the hip socket beforehand by having a metal cup and either a plastic or ceramic insert. By replacing both the ball joint and the socket, these new, synthetic joints are allowed to glide and function much like a healthy hip joint.

Total Hip Implants in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples

The traditional style of hip replacements previously mentioned have shown positive results for a number of years. The life of the replacement, however, depends on both the age of the patient and the patient’s level of activity.

Another potential factor that can affect the lifespan of the hip replacement is the bearing surface. The bearings are two parts of the replacement that interact together and glide. Depending on the individual materials of each part, the lifespan can be shortened or lengthened.

Technologies That May Impact Implant Performance

Throughout the past several years, advances in the materials used with the bearing surfaces has helped to increase to lifespan of the implant. Laboratory studies have shown that a ceramic-on-ceramic implant garners significantly less wear when compared to a metal-on-polyethylene implant.

New polyethylene implants, as opposed to the traditional polyethylene implants, have also shown to have significantly decreased wear. Eventually, they are expected to have similar wear to the ceramic-on-ceramic implants.

Both your physician and hip doctor will discuss the specific type of implant being used in your surgery and the details of the surgical procedure as well.

Complications of Hip Replacement

Just like with any other surgery, there is always a risk associated with a hip joint replacement surgery. Blood clots can become an issue after surgery, but the good news is that a complication associated with a hip replacement surgery is exceedingly rare. Your surgeon may prescribe a number of different treatments including blood thinners, a special support hose, and an inflatable leg covering to ensure that a clot does not happen.

Hip Replacement Recovery

Once your surgery has been completed, it is completely normal to spend anywhere between three to five days in the hospital. Despite a bit of a stay, most patients can not only begin standing but can also start walking with assistance within a day of the surgery.

Just like with any surgical procedure, the amount of time it will take for you to recover from surgery can vary. To help the process, ensure that you follow any instructions regarding your care at home during the first couple weeks after your operation. For the most part, you should be allowed to resume light activities anywhere from three to six weeks after the surgery. Some discomfort is common as complete recovery can take three to six months.

While it is both common and expected to increase your level of activity over a period of time, it is not advised to participate in high-impact activities such as jogging.

For more information, contact Orthopedic Center of Florida or schedule online for a consultation in our Fort Myers, Estero or Naples, FL offices.

1. Arthritis Foundation website, Feb. 2006.
2. website, Feb. 2006.
3. Taylor. S.K., Serekian, P., Manley, M., “Wear Performance of a Contemporary Alumina: Alumina Bearing Couple under Hip Joint Simulation,” Trans. 44th Ann. Mtg. ORS, 1998.
4. Stryker Test Report RD–04–099.