Hip Replacement? Place Yourself in the Hands of an Experienced Surgeon
When a person develops pain in the hip that makes standing and walking difficult, osteoarthritis of the hip joint is most often to blame, and the ultimate fix is a hip replacement.
“It’s a painful and debilitating condition that can make even simple things like putting on your shoes and socks a big problem. Unfortunately, it’s also a common condition,” said James MacDougall, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon with Avera Orthopedic Surgery Specialists in Aberdeen.
“Some people can live to be 100 and never need a hip replacement. Others might need a hip replacement as early as their 40s. Injuries, including those involving athletics, and being overweight can cause this condition to accelerate,” MacDougall said.
There are three main approaches to hip replacement surgery, with benefits and risks to each. When performed by an experienced surgeon, they are similar when it comes to the desired outcome of getting you back to enjoying life.
The most common approach is the posterior, from the back, and another common approach is the anterolateral, from the side. An approach that has been around since the 1960s but is gaining new attention is the anterior approach, where the incision is made at the front of the upper thigh.
The orthopedic surgeons at Avera Orthopedic in Aberdeen offer experience and expertise to guide patients in their options for hip replacement surgery. In addition to the posterior approach, James Mantone, MD, and Matthew Reynen, MD also offer the anterior approach for those patients who decide upon this approach.
The anterior approach typically requires intraoperative fluoroscopic X-ray in order to visualize the hip joint, partially because of a smaller incision. Advances in implants, operating tables and techniques help make this procedure easier for surgeons to perform than in the past.
Benefits of the anterior approach are that it is slightly less invasive and may provide a faster recovery time for some patients in the early post-operative period.
Long-term results are the same regardless of the approach. There’s a low risk of hip dislocation for any hip replacement procedure. Posterior and anterolateral have a rate of approximately 3 to 4 percent, while the anterior rate is slightly lower at 1 to 2 percent.
After any hip replacement surgery, patients are generally walking without a cane after two to four weeks, and back to their full activity level within three months. People who have had a hip replacement should not engage in high-impact activities like running or jumping. But they can walk, ride bikes, ski, ride a snowmobile, go up and down stairs and more.
“The all-important first step is finding an experienced surgeon you trust, and talking over your options with that specialist,” MacDougall said. “Your orthopedic surgeon can help you make the best decision for you and your future health, and help get you back to the activities you once enjoyed.”