Hip Replacement Surgery Gold Coast
Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure performed by orthopaedic surgeons and has an excellent success rate. Many advances in techniques, robotic surgery, implant design and fabrication over the last 50 years since hip replacements have been performed have improved the quality and reproducibility of the surgery.
Many millions of patients worldwide have undergone hip replacement surgery. Around 40,000 hip replacements are performed every year in Australia. Also called total hip arthroplasty, this procedure is needed when all other treatments for arthritis related hip pain fail to give adequate relief. Dr Jason Tsung, an orthopaedic surgeon on the Gold Coast, specialises in total hip replacement surgery.
What’s Involved in Total Hip Arthroplasty and Hip Replacement Surgery?
How Does It Work?
During hip replacement, the worn hip joint is removed and replaced with an artificial implant (prosthesis). There are two components to a hip replacement: the ball and the socket.
Replacement Of The Ball
The ball of the hip joint is removed and bone from inside the thigh bone is hollowed out so that a metal stem and acrylic bone polymer can be inserted. A new highly polished and smooth femoral head ball is attached to this. The ball is composed of either highly polished chrome and cobalt alloy or highly polished ceramic.
Replacement Of The Socket
The worn hip socket is prepared by removing the damaged arthritic layer of worn cartilage and bone. Depending on the situation, a new socket comprised of either acrylic bone polymer and a highly wear resistant plastic or a titanium metal shell with highly wear resistant plastic is inserted to replace the hip socket.
Each operation is unique, but in general terms, hip replacement surgery takes around 90 minutes to perform.
Where & How Big Is The Scar?
The scar is along the side of the hip and slightly curved into the top of the buttock. The length of the scar depends on many factors that cannot be predicted but will be at least 12cm in length.
Hip arthritis is a common condition where the smooth cartilage of the hip joint has worn out. There are many reasons this may occur. Some of the common causes of hip arthritis are:
This is by the far the most common cause. The moving parts of the hip joint have worn out over time causing pain and stiffness.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
This is a generalised condition that can wear out many joints, including the hip.
- Avascular Necrosis
This is a problem with the blood supply and nutrition commonly to the ball of the hip joint that causes the bone to die and often collapse leading to arthritis.
- Post Traumatic Arthritis
Cartilage and bone injury of the hip joint may cause arthritis soon after or many years following injury.
Dislocation of the hip joint as a result of serious sporting injury or trauma may damage the joint surface or affect the blood supply and nutrition of the hip joint leading to post traumatic arthritis and/or avascular necrosis.
- Birth defects (dysplasia)
Structural change to the hip joint from birth leads to abnormal wearing out of the hip joint leading to arthritis.
Do I Need A Hip Replacement?
The decision to have this treatment should be made after assessment and discussion with your orthopaedic surgeon. The decision will always be yours to make and should be made after careful consideration of the information you have received including what the expected benefits are versus the risks of surgery.
There are many options available to make up the moving parts of a hip replacement. The decision to use one bearing over another depends on durability, level of performance, wear resistance, and your personal needs. The bearing itself is not just a single part, but the point where the ball and socket of the hip replacement meet such that the bearing can be the joining of different combinations of materials.
This is a durable plastic that is commonly used in hip replacement for the socket side or “cup”. It is non-toxic to the human body and versatile. The current generation of this polyethylene has increased toughness by creating extra chemical “crosslinks”, reducing the level of wear compared to earlier generations of polyethylene.
The currently used fourth generation ceramic bearings is made up of a mixed oxide of predominately zirconia and alumina. It is tough, smooth, has a low wear rate and is non toxic to the human body.
Ceramic bearings are used in two configurations - a ceramic ball with a ceramic socket (ceramic on ceramic) or a ceramic ball with a polyethylene socket (ceramic on poly). Both configurations give very low wear rates.
This can be used for the ball of bearing surface. It may be made of either highly polished surgical stainless steel or an alloy of chromium, cobalt and molybdenum.
Metal heads are the most commonly used femoral head bearing used. In conventional hip replacements metal heads are combined with polyethylene sockets to make the bearing surface (metal on poly).
What To Expect After Surgery
It is common to have discomfort after a hip replacement for at least a few weeks after the surgery although it will be very different from the pain from arthritis. Every day your pain, mobility and strength should improve. It is not uncommon to only require simple paracetamol a few weeks after a hip replacement.
By the time you come for review around six weeks following your surgery you should have minimal pain and can walk a reasonable distance with the aid of a walking stick. At this stage joint stiffness, weakness and occasional aching discomfort is common. Some people experience lower leg swelling after total hip arthroplasty/hip replacement surgery. If this occurs it may take eight weeks or more to resolve.
Your Hospital Stay
The first few days in hospital are a busy time with doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other hospital staff who are all there to help you. Your therapists will teach you how to get around safely, give you exercises to strengthen your hip and monitor your progress.
In most cases, the afternoon of or morning after the surgery you will take the first steps on your hip replacement with a physiotherapist. Whilst each person has a different timeline our goal is to get you home between three and five days after surgery.
For some people more intensive work is required. If this is the case you may require the expertise of a rehabilitation unit before it is safe to go home.
By the time you leave hospital, you should be progressing well in regaining your mobility and can get around safely.
Hip Replacement Recovery Timeframe
The usual hospital stay is 2 to 5 days and full recovery typically takes 3 to 6 months. To protect your hip in the first 6 weeks there will be specific do’s and don’ts that your physiotherapist will go through with you. Sometimes it is necessary to have certain aids to assist you during the early days.
Contact Dr J Tsung
|1300 399 223|
|(07) 3041 5087|
Suite 6C Fred McKay House
42 Inland Dr, Tugun Qld 4224