Hip replacement surgery is typically required following a severe hip fracture or once a patient’s arthritis of the hip has escalated to the point where the joint has worn away, causing consistent bone-on-bone contact. Both of these would need addressing by making alterations to the hip joint, and if you’ve been looking at potential surgeries then it’s likely that you’ve encountered a range of potential terms for the procedures. So, we wanted to bring together information about the different procedures you may have heard about to ensure you’re as informed as possible about the different hip surgeries out there.
Total hip replacement
Total hip replacement is the most common form of hip replacement procedure carried out and involves the removal of the entire hip joint. The joint is replaced by a prosthesis – an artificial ball and socket joint – which is crafted from a hard-wearing, medical grade material. This material can be selected by a patient following a consultation with your hip surgeon, which includes combinations of metal, ceramic and plastic parts. The benefit of this type of procedure is that the two components of the artificial hip are designed to work together, and the affected area is completely removed so that you won’t suffer from further bone-related issues.
Partial hip replacement
As the name suggests, a partial hip replacement involves replacing just one part of the hip joint to remedy a hip related issue. This procedure focuses on replacing the ball element of the ball and socket hip joint, known as the femoral head, with a metal or ceramic hip implant which is set down into the core of the thighbone in order to secure it. Normally, this form of hip replacement is used for repairing a hip joint follow a hip fracture since it treats one specific aspect of the ball and socket joint.
Although this isn’t a form of replacement, the end result is similar to a partial hip replacement in that it only makes alterations to the ball part of the joint. Less bone is removed in a hip resurfacing procedure as the original bone socket it left in place and the damaged head of the femur is shaved down by a few millimetres and reshaped to allow a metal cap to be cemented in place. As this preserves more of the bone, it can potentially feel more natural and require less adjusting to. However, hip resurfacing does run the risk of not full addressing the problem or causing further wear to the bone socket, meaning a total hip replacement eventually required. Only specific patients would be suited to this procedure, so consulting with a specialist is recommended to understand whether this be a potentially viable treatment.
If you’re struggling with hip-based arthritis issues and have been considering surgery, then contact us for an initial consultation with one of our hip surgery specialists. We can provide you with expert guidance on replacement procedures and help guide you through each step so you can get the hip surgery you need and be back on your feet feeling like yourself again.