Arthroplasty or hip replacement: when and where to perform it

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Dr. Maciej Was, specialist in hip surgery at Quirónsalud Torrevieja, clarifies in which cases this surgical procedure is optimal

Hip fracture is one of the top 10 causes of disability in adults over the age of 65 in Spain.  It is a serious injury that especially affects the elderly, being mainly associated with osteoporosis and falls.

However, there are other risk factors that influence the high incidence of hip fractures in older people, such as age-related decreased mobility and loss of visual and hearing ability. “The combination of these factors increases the possibility of suffering falls and trauma and presenting, therefore, a hip fracture of traumatic origin,” explains Dr. Maciej Tadeusz Waship specialist of the traumatology service of Quirónsalud Torrevieja.

With these worrying data, the medical sector has looked for ways to recover that well-being and quality of life despite turning years or having suffered an accident.

Hip arthroplasty is the most common procedure when other treatments have not had the desired effect.

Dr. Maciej Was, specialist in surgery of Quirónsalud Torrevieja, explains what hip arthroplasty is and how the recovery process is.

What is arthroplasty or hip replacement?

Hip arthroplasty, also known as hip replacement, is a surgical procedure in which the damaged cartilage and bone of the hip joint are replaced with metal implants (prostheses).

The goal of this hip replacement is to relieve pain caused by deformity or fracture, improve mobility, and maintain the range of motion of the hip joint.

When to perform a hip arthroplasty?

It is important to differentiate between partial hip arthroplasty (partial hip replacement surgery or hemiarthroplasty) where only the head of the femur is replaced and total hip arthroplasty (total hip replacement surgery) where all parts of the joint are replaced with artificial prosthetic components.

Both are performed through an incision in the hip area and is therefore a surgery that requires regional anaesthesia in most situations.

In principle there are two indications for hip arthroplasty: femoral neck fracture or hip deformity.

In case of fracture, the implantation of hip prostheses depends on the type of femoral neck fracture and the general condition of the patient. It can be total or partial prosthesis, and on the other hand cemented or non-cemented prosthesis. Generally, the total prosthesis is reserved for patients under 75 years of age and in these patients non-cemented prostheses are put. For people over 75 years of age, if they do not have hip osteoarthritis, partial prostheses can be put on and if their bone quality is not good to resort to the cemented prosthesis.

In case of deformity “an arthroplasty is performed when we have a painful hip with damage to the cartilage, which does not improve with any of the different conservative therapeutic options we have”, details Dr. Maciej Was, specialist in hip surgery at Quirónsalud Torrevieja.

Osteoarthritis and other hip joint deformities can lead to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. Therefore, a total hip arthroplasty will be recommended to relieve pain, improve range of motion and improve quality of life.

Techniques used to perform a hip arthroplasty

The team of the Hip and Pelvis Unit of Quirónsalud Torrevieja has highly specialized surgeons capable of responding to any pathology of the musculoskeletal system, offering a personalized and quality treatment to the patient.

In addition, new technologies have allowed us to develop new minimally invasive techniques that favour the patient’s recovery and shorten their stay in the hospital.

Among the many advantages of this type of techniques we find the following:

  • Less bleeding.
  • Lower risk of infection.
  • Smaller incisions.
  • Almost immediate recovery of the patient.

Depending on the patient’s condition and their previous functional situation, a certain type of surgical intervention will be carried out, in order to give solidity and stability to that joint and to recover the patient’s gait.

Types of hip prostheses used in hip arthroplasty

In general, prostheses that use the following components are usually used:

  • Stem, which is always metallic (different mixtures of metals)
  • Head,which can be metallic (Chromium-Cobalt) or ceramic.
  • Insert,which can be made of polyethylene or ceramic.
  • Acetabular component, which is always metallic (different mixtures of metals).

The choice of components depends on the age of the patient and their particular situation, among others.

How is the recovery after a hip arthroplasty?

The recovery after a hip arthroplasty is a personalized process according to the characteristics of the patient (degree of loss of musculature, mobility deficit, stability of the prosthesis)”, adds the specialist.

These types of operations usually have a degree of recovery with a high degree of success. That is, after the intervention the patient will be able to mobilise the leg and return to his daily life, however, depending on the stability, “he may spend some time without being able to fully support the operated leg.”

In addition, depending on the needs of the patient, physiotherapy sessions may also be needed to shorten the recovery process and obtain a better result.

The recovery time from a hip replacement can be six weeks to three months, depending on the type of surgery you’ve had and how your body reacts.

You can request here more information about hip surgery or arthroplasty from this link.

Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja

Quirónsalud Torrevieja has been chosen as the healthcare company with the best corporate reputation in Spain in 2022.

 About Quirónsalud Torrevieja

  • International medical team.
  • Free translation service.
  • We work with all national and international medical insurers.
  • Management of free traffic unit.
  • General emergencies 24/7.
  • Daytime paediatric emergencies.

Location:

Partida de la Loma, s/n

03184 Torrevieja Alicante

966 92 13 13 / 900 301 013

info.torrevieja@quironsalud.es

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