Hip Replacement: Osteoarthritis & Fracture Care


Millions of Americans suffer from chronic hip pain as a result of standard degenerative wear-and-tear or acute traumatic events, such as a football tackle or a sudden fall. Other common causes of hip pain re osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and hip bursitis. Hip pain is very often debilitating and prevents patients from participating in and enjoying routine activities like walking the dog, raking leaves or taking a walk.

Typical treatments for hip pain/ range from conservative methods such as physical therapy (physical medicine and rehabilitation), cortisone injections, and pain management, to comprehensive surgical treatments like hip replacement or hip resurfacing. Conservative methods are pursued first in order to reduce the pain and other symptoms associated with orthopedic hip problems. Of course, not every hip problem can be treated solely with noninvasive methods. In cases of severe arthritis and hip fractures, hip replacement is often the best solution for resolving the associated pain and immobility.

Hip Replacement Solutions for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is known as “wear-and-tear arthritis,” and is a degenerative condition that affects more than 20 million Americans. Through natural degradation, the cushioning between the bones deteriorates and ultimately wears away, which allows friction between the bones and accelerates deterioration. Associated ligaments and muscle within the joint will become weak as well. Patients that develop osteoarthritis often report sharp, acute pain in the hip joint, and they may also experience immobility or stiffness.

Diagnosing Osteoarthritis

Your orthopedic surgeon can diagnose and confirm osteoarthritis through consultations that consider family history, pre-existing conditions and other risk factors. A physical examination will assess the patient's level of mobility, strength, and joint alignment. The attending surgeon will also order using an x-ray to confirm the existence of hip damage or deformity. In some cases an MRI scan and/or blood test will also be used to determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues around it.

Hip Replacement for Bone Fractures

Hip fractures are debilitating, traumatic injuries that affect about 250,000 Americans every year. Older patients are far more likely to sustain hip fractures, as their reduced stability and weaker, brittle bones all contribute to an increased risk of falling and sustaining bone fractures. Athletes who play competitive football, rugby, or soccer are also at risk for hip fractures due to the intense physical nature of their sports, which offend lend themselves to fractures.

Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip arthroscopy (replacement), is often recommended for patients that suffer from severe osteoarthritis and the associated symptoms: chronic pain, immobility and instability. During a hip replacement procedure, the surgeon removes the top of the femur and caps it with a new synthetic ball component. After that, a rod is then inserted into the femoral neck to support the new cap. Next, scrapes the surface to clear the socket component of the hip joint and remove any damaged bone and/or cartilage. On the newly prepared surface, the surgeon then places a new socket component. Once all pieces of the new joint are in place, the replacement hip should feel and move like a natural joint.

Femoral neck fracture 

When the femoral neck of the hip is fractured, the head disconnects from the rest of the thighbone, which causes a disruption of blood flow to the femoral head. This situation makes the fracture unlikely to heal on its own, and will usually worsen over time. Depending on the level of displacement of the bone fracture, as well as the age of the patient, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend hip replacement may to mend the patient's bone, increase their stability and reduce pain.

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