Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common orthopedic surgeries. There are various reasons as to why this surgery is so necessary for seniors and people with a sports background. Despite the fact that such intervention is very frequent, it is still risky and should be performed only by highly qualified orthopedic surgeons. Fortunately, thanks to the constant technology improvement, hip replacement surgery became much more delicate and efficient.
The main reason why this surgery is needed, especially in the case of elderly people, is the aging of the hip joint cartilage, such as hip joint arthritis or arthrosis.
These conditions often show themselves in pain in the joints, which is a direct consequence of the joint cartilage wearing out. Generally, arthritis is caused by mechanic wearing out (if joint serves some intensive repetitive actions), genetic predisposition to risk factors, or because of inflammation, and may also occur due to old age.
Hip replacement surgery is also necessary in the case of a femur fracture as a result of severe trauma. Depending on the degree of fracture, it is decided whether the bone can be restored without any interference or if the surgery is needed. In the latter case, during the operation, the surgeon replaces the femur head and neck with the prosthesis to fuse the broken parts of the bone.
And finally, hip replacement may be required in the hip necrosis, otherwise known as osteonecrosis, or avascular osteonecrosis of the hip. This phenomenon is associated with impaired blood flow in the femoral head. Because bone is deprived of blood supply, it becomes very vulnerable and requires surgery.
Typically, the setting of the hip prosthesis consists of replacing the femur head and neck with the prosthesis, which is attached directly to the femur. The prosthesis consists of a leg (which replaces the femoral neck), a ball (this is the bonehead) and the cup. Cup is attached directly to the pelvis, to replace the worn hip cartilage, which then facilitates the limbs movement. The newly installed prosthesis helps to restore the joint movement, eliminating all symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, the femur fracture, and femur necrosis.
Today, there are several ways to perform hip replacement surgery with minimal risk. French orthopedic surgeons actively use the new minimally invasive hip replacement technology, which can be performed in an outpatient setting. In France, orthopedic surgeons constantly exchange their experiences to improve their practices and create revolutionary surgical protocols.
This surgical technique, developed in France, is a real revolution and is widely used by the best French orthopedic surgeons. Yet, it is too little practiced in the world.
During the operation, the surgeon makes a very small incision to avoid muscle tissue damaging. This helps to reduce the pain, recover quickly after surgery and maintain muscle performance, unlike the traditional hip replacement surgery. To remove the femur neck, the incision is made right next to it. The hip prosthesis is coated microbeads of titanium and innovative “hydroxyapatite” substance. This cementless implant is one of the most valuable discoveries in orthopedic surgery, as it does not wear out over time (like ceramic prosthesis does) and does not need to be replaced. The surgery, that takes less than 1.5 hours, significantly reduces the risk of subsequent dislocations. Furthermore, it reduced to a minimum or sometimes even doesn’t require the rehabilitation, allowing patients to get up the next day after surgery.
Grinding is another innovative surgical method. In the standard hip replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the whole femur head, whereas, in the grinding surgery, the worn out cartilage is preserved and protected by the metal cap. The surgeon grinds the damaged femoral head and puts a metal cap on it. Another important part of the prosthesis is a metal cup, installed into the joint hole. This approach allows saving a large amount of bone.
This method is recommended for people under 55 years and must be performed only by highly-trained orthopedic specialists. In France, such operation is carried out with the use of innovative materials, which significantly reduces both rehabilitation period and risk of dislocation.
There are various types of prostheses, which are selected for each individual case and individual reason. The most common prostheses are the ones with a metal or ceramic ball, inserted into a polyethylene cup. There are other innovative prostheses, such as fully ceramic dentures. One French orthopedic surgeon demonstrated the efficacy and safety of use of the coated prosthesis, which negates the risk of further dislocations. It also allows to significantly speed up patient’s recovery after surgery and thereby reduces the hospital stay duration.
The hip replacement rehabilitation process depends on the type of the surgery, patient’s health condition and age. In general, orthopedic surgeons prescribe physiotherapy and exercise therapy that helps patients get up and start walking gradually. Thanks to modern medical equipment and the skill of surgeons, rehabilitation after hip replacement surgery goes smoothly and practically painless. And they still can go to the beach, since the scar is very little noticeable or not noticeable at all.
Very often, patients worry about what happens after hip replacement surgery: whether they will be in pain, or will any threatening complications happen.
1. The place of the incision can be painful and cause unpleasant sensations outside of the thigh or even closer to the knee. Pain can be successfully relieved with medicaments. After some time, the pain disappears by itself.
2. It is normal if an edema appears on the patient’s hip after the hip replacement surgery. Usually, it passes quickly. However, special treatment may be necessary if the swelling becomes hard, painful, or migrates to the lower leg (it happens very rarely).
3. Complications after hip replacement surgery can occur due to:
– Poorly performed operations and surgeon’s incompetence.
– Improper post-operative patient’s behavior.
– Poor quality of prostheses.
Complications after arthroplasty include:
– Femur head fracture, dislocation or prosthesis head loosening.
– Change of length in the operated limb.
– Movement restriction.
– Postoperative neuritis.
– Pulmonary embolism.
– Deep veins thrombosis.
Let’s not forget that any surgery involves a certain risk. In the French orthopedic centers, hip replacement surgery is performed according to the modern surgical methods in order to avoid further complications and shorten the rehabilitation period.
Since orthopedics is one of the fastest growing medical specialties in France, all the patients operated here are happy and leave only positive feedback. Orthopedic centers offer a wide range of medical services and treatment, that correspond to the latest innovations. Any patient of an orthopedic center in France can expect quick rehabilitation and minimal risk of complications after hip replacement surgery. The cost of hip replacement surgery in France is very economical compared to other European countries, and the best result pleased is guaranteed by the reputable French orthopedists.