Have you been living with pain in your hip—the kind that limits what you are able to do and that slows you down? If you have, you know that chronic pain can be debilitating and can greatly affect your quality of life. If you haven’t already, you should make an appointment to be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon to determine what is causing your pain. Of course, there are a number of different things that can cause hip pain, but osteoarthritis (or degenerative arthritis) is one of the most common reasons. This type of arthritis is a result of the “wear-and-tear” on a joint from a lifetime of activities, or from an injury. Once diagnosed, there are different approaches to treating your pain that you can discuss with your orthopedic surgeon. However, if it is determined that surgical replacement of your hip joint is your best option to living an active and pain-free life again, there is a lot of good news that we’d like to share with you about modern hip replacements. It’s definitely not the same surgery your grandmother, or even your mom had!
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacements
As suggested by the name, during hip replacement surgery, the damaged ball and socket of this hip are replaced with a new synthetic ball and socket joint that is attached to your own bones, with a special new gliding surface in between. After recovery, the pain that was caused by your arthritic joint is alleviated, helping you to return to enjoying a more active, pain-free lifestyle. Hip replacements have been around for many years, but traditionally, incisions were long and recovery was slow. When an orthopedic surgeon performs newer methods of minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, special instruments used to allow the surgeon to work in smaller areas. This means not only smaller incisions, but the ability to preserve important muscles and tendons around the hip to speed up your recovery and healing. In addition to shorter recovery time, the recovery process itself is refined to be both quicker and easier. Although minimally invasive hip replacement surgery is still major surgery, involving typical surgical risks, avoiding or minimizing damage to the muscles and tissues around the joint can help you to enjoy optimal results with as little downtime as possible.
Surgical Approaches for Hip Replacement Surgery
Surgical approaches for hip replacement surgery that use these special muscle-sparing techniques include a minimally invasive posterior approach, minimally invasive direct anterior approach, and minimally invasive anterolateral approach. Each of these approaches for hip replacement surgery has unique risks and benefits that can be tailored to individual patient needs and anatomy.
Using these specialized techniques and accelerated recovery pathways, hip replacement surgery is now routinely done with just an overnight hospital stay, or as an outpatient procedure with the ability to safely return home with your new hip on the same day as the operative procedure.
Robotic-Assisted Computer-Guided Hip Replacements
In addition to the location and size of incisions, surgeons now have even more technological advances to help them offer you better and safer recoveries and less discomfort when undergoing hip replacement procedures. Robotic-assisted guidance systems such as Makoplasty can now be used by your surgeon to prepare and align your new joint with the highest degrees of accuracy, potentially besting older versions of computer-assisted orthopedic surgery (CAOS). Special cameras and a CT scan can create virtual 3-dimensional images of your hip joint that your surgeon can use to guide his placement of your new joint. Ultimately, this technology assists with sizing and positioning of the hip joint, as well as enhances the accuracy of your post-operative leg length—which can improve your overall recovery and outcomes from your hip replacement surgery, and potentially minimize the risk of complications such as dislocation.
What Surgical Advancements in Hip Replacements Mean to You
If you are considering, or have already decided to undergo hip replacement surgery, it is because you are ready to have a more active and pain-free life. Hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful orthopedic surgeries of modern times in that it gives you the opportunity to replace your arthritic joint with one that can allow you to move again without pain. So why wouldn’t you want to reap those benefits sooner and with less discomfort? Minimally invasive procedures, improved surgical approaches and robotic-assisted procedures all can do just that for you. The procedures available to you today can provide you with all the benefits of traditional hip replacements–with less pain, smaller incisions, less time using walkers and other assistive devices, and quicker recovery than historical results.
If you are interested in learning more about hip replacement surgery, including minimally invasive techniques, muscle-sparing approaches, and robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery, or if you have any other concerns about hip or other joint pain, our friendly team is here to help. To seek the expert advice of Dr. Brett Gilbert who will address your unique concerns, contact us today by calling us at (919) 788-8797 or request an appointment online, and work to start living pain-free once again.