HIP REPLACEMENT is one of the most successful surgeries and is hailed as the SURGERY OF 20TH CENTURY.
Total hip replacement surgery, or arthroplasty, involves removing a damaged ball-and-socket hip joint and replacing it with an artificial hip joint made out of metal or durable synthetic materials.
Hip Replacement is most commonly done for the following conditions.
- Osteonecrosis: If there isn’t enough blood supplied to the ball portion of the hip joint, such as might result from a dislocation or fracture, the bone might collapse and deform. This is the most common condition in our part of the world and affects mainly the younger population.
- Post traumatic arthritis: Usually occurs after fractures around the hip. The head of the femur either undergoes osteonecrosis or the cartilage of the ball, socket or both become rough. It can happen at any age.
- Osteoarthritis: Commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis damages the smooth cartilage that covers the ends of bones. Usually occurs in the elderly and is a part of the aging process.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Caused by an overactive immune system, rheumatoid arthritis produces a type of inflammation that can erode cartilage and occasionally underlying bone, resulting in damaged and deformed joints. It can also affect Knee, Wrist, Spine, and other joints.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are more prevalent in the Western world.
How Long Will My New Joint Last After Hip Replacement Surgery?
As more and more young and active population is affected by the disease, the longevity of the Hip Replacement surgery becomes particularly important.
When hip replacement surgeries were first performed in the early 1970s, it was thought that the average artificial joint would last approximately 10 years. However now a well done hip replacement usually lasts 25 years. Improvements in surgical technique and artificial joint materials should make these implants last even longer.
Before a decade or so, the standard protocol was to avoid hip replacement surgery in the younger population until they were severely disabled. This used to affect their active years of life when they are supposed to be most productive. With the advent of newer bearing surfaces like ceramic, the longevity of hips can be as long as 35 years. Consequently now, if a person gets a hip replacement at the age of 30 with these modern implants and bearings, he will probably require a revision between the age of 60 to 70. That means he will have a very well-functioning hip joint during his active years of life. With the modern uncemented stems, there is minimal bone loss and even revision of these implants at a later date becomes easier. Since there has been a great advance in recent times in surgical techniques also, there is a strong belief that some of these implants could even last for more than 40 years.
However, for a person beyond the age of 70 years, any of the modern implants would do good and function well for the remaining life of the patient.