When Do Doctors Recommend Hip Replacement Procedures?
A doctor will usually recommend the hip replacement procedure only in a case where the patient is experiencing extreme pain or immobility and they alternate procedures are of no help to them. These will include individuals who experience severe pain which causes problems in their day-to-day life. It also includes people who are suffering from diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and also bone tumors. This is also recommended for individuals who have injured their hip to help them increase mobility and improve the quality of their life.
Main Components of an Artificial Hip
An artificial hip consists mainly of three main components
- A stem that is inserted into the femur bone of the leg
- A ball, also known as the femoral head, that is attached to the top of the femur
- A cup, called the acetabular component, which is attached to the pelvis
The ball and the cup together act like the ball-and-socket joint in the body when a person walks. Even though this procedure has shown major relief to many people who have been in pain it is important that doctors provide a potential patient all the risks that can surface in the long run after this procedure has been undergone.
Types of Hip Replacement
A hip replacement procedure can be approached in two major methods, i.e., the posterior (back) or the anterior (front) approach. However, most doctors prefer the posterior approach as this allows for them to have better visibility and is also a less evasive method of surgery. They also have the option of using a special bone cement that helps the bone hold its place or they can also use cementless fixation method that has a surface that allows the bone to grow onto the implant and secure it in place. There is also a hybrid option in which the cup is set without the help of cement whereas the stem is implanted using cement.
Total Hip Replacement
This is the procedure in which the entire hip is replaced by an artificial joint.
Partial Hip Replacement
This procedure is mainly recommended when there is a need for only a partial replacement of the hip. In this case, the cup or the socket remains in place while the ball replaces the head of the femur.
In this kind of procedure, the need for total replacement of the hip in younger patients can be delayed if they have the potential of outliving the original artificial hip and would later need another surgery later on in life.
Complications That Can Arise with Hip Replacement Procedures
The following are the complications and risks that can arise from the hip replacement
- Loosening of implant
- The fracture of the implant
- Infection related to the implant
- Heterotropic ossification (soft tissue becoming calcified)
- Avasular necrosis or bone death
Sometimes the FDA approves a device with limited evidence and requires that the manufacturer carry out further studies on how these devices affect people. These devices are later recalled if there is evidence of adverse effects on the people. Some of the hip replacements ended up causing a list of adverse effects in people who had them implanted. Some of these were then recalled from the market and others were recalled due to the errors that were caused by manufacturing or packaging.
FDAs Actions on Metal-on-Metal Implants
Metal-on-metal hip implants were classified as a Class III risk device and recalled them from the market. Studies carried out on these implants showed that they had some of the highest failure rates and also produced metal ions that entered the recipient’s bloodstream and causes metallosis. Several patients who had received these implants files lawsuits against the manufacturers of these devices claiming that they knew that their devices were faulty. The FDA ordered manufacturers to conduct further postmarket studies on these products in May 2011 and later in 2013 sent out a communication stating that they had a unique risk along with the several other risks related to hip replacement procedures.