Hip Replacement Surgery
Total hip replacement surgery is a common option for the treatment of osteoarthritis. It involves replacing the entire hip joint; any remaining cartilage in the joint is removed and the femoral head (ball) and the socket are replaced. These materials are placed to mimic your original joint and cartilage.
“A total hip replacement is one of the most successful surgeries I do. It has the ability to drastically reduce your associated pain and greatly improve your freedom of movement,” says Dr. Rhys Clark.
The two surgical options
There are two main surgical options when it comes to replacing your damaged hip joint: the direct anterior approach (DAA), and the posterior approach. With the anterior approach, the incision is made on the front of the leg, while the posterior approach means that the incision is made on the side, extending around to the buttocks. Rhys and his team are always happy to discuss either approach and the benefits and risks associated. And, regardless of whether you require an anterior or posterior approach, evidence suggests that there is no major difference between patient outcomes six to twelve months after surgery.
“The most important thing I consider when performing this surgery is to make sure the replacement joint is placed in the correct position. My general preference is to perform the minimally invasive anterior approach unless there are contra-indications or perceived technical difficulties that may mean a patient is not suitable for this approach. Regardless of whether I use an anterior or posterior approach to your surgery, I am focussed on the best possible outcome for you.”
Returning to life with purpose
Hip replacement surgery is rated as one of the top five operations (out of elective surgeries) for improving people’s quality of life. Hip arthritis causes uncomfortable and lingering pain that can really limit your movement. The surgery will allow you to get back to your normal daily routine (including some sporting activities) knowing you can move freely without the fear of pain. Even patients that suffer from a limp due to osteoarthritis are typically able to walk normally again post-surgery.
“For severe arthritis this form of treatment can offer a lot of relief. Many of my patients opt for hip replacement surgery as a way to get back a life of pain free movement.”
Are there any limits on age?
Your age is not a limiting factor when deciding on hip replacement surgery. So long as you are in reasonable health, surgery is still an option in older age. In the rare case that something with your hip replacement goes wrong later in life, hip revision surgery may be necessary. In most cases evidence does suggest that continued improvements in technology mean that modern hip replacements should last most patient’s lifetimes.
“Approximately 90% of hip replacements are still in place and working well 18 years post-surgery. No matter what surgical approach is best for you, my aim is to give you a long-term solution that shows results beyond your goals.”