Hip replacements help millions of people regain mobility and find relief from joint pain, but hip replacement surgery is accompanied by some risk and requires months of recovery.
Prospective patients should know that implants don’t last forever, and some hip implants have a better safety record than others. They should take steps to be sure a hip replacement is right for them and that the device they’re receiving has a history of success.
An artificial hip has three basic components: a stem that is inserted into the femur, a ball that attaches to the top of the femur and a cup that attaches to a socket in the pelvis. The ball, also called a femoral head component, replaces the head of the femur. The cup, also called the acetabular component, is implanted into the pelvis.
Candidates for Hip Replacement
The most likely candidates for hip replacement include people who experience pain that disrupts regular activities. In addition to people with osteoarthritis or hip injuries, people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis or bone tumors may need hip replacements to relieve pain. People also receive hip replacements to increase mobility and improve overall quality of life.
Signs that You May Need a Hip Replacement
- Hip pain that prevents walking, bending, climbing stairs or doing daily chores
- Pain in your hip even when not walking or standing
- Stiffness in your hip that prevents lifting your leg
- Failure of non-surgical treatments to provide relief
- Depression or other changes in your mental health
- Your doctor rules out other health problems
People ages 50 to 80 have historically been the most common candidates for hip replacements. However, young teenagers with juvenile arthritis and people over the age of 80 have successfully undergone hip replacements.
Many people experience pain relief and improvements in daily living after receiving a hip replacement, but the devices are not miracle cures. Hip replacement surgery has a number of risks, and the implants wear out over time. To avoid complications, people who receive implants should not jog, run or participate in high-impact sports. They may be able to swim, bike or perform other low-impact activities.
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Types of Hip Replacement Surgery
- Total Hip Replacement
- Partial Hip Replacement
- Hip Resurfacing
Types of Implants
Device manufacturers design hip implants to mimic the natural movement of the body. The primary differences between implants are their size and the material of the components.
Hip implant components are made of polyethylene (plastic), metal, ceramic or a combination of the materials
- Metal-on-Polyethylene (MoP)
- Metal-on-Metal (MoM)
- Ceramic-on-Polyethylene (CoP)
- Ceramic-on-Ceramic (CoC)
- Ceramic-on-Metal (CoM)
Hip Replacement Risks and Complications
Most people who have hip replacement surgery do not experience major complications.
- Loosening of implant
- Blood clots
- Bone growth beyond normal edges of the bone
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