What is Hip Replacement

What is Hip Replacement

When the hip joint is substituted by a prosthetic implant through a surgery, we can call it as a hip replacement. Sometimes a full replacement and other times a half replacement is done. Hip fractures or hip pains are the general reasons for a hip replacement surgery. The acetabulum and the femoral head are replaced in total hip replacements.

History of Hip Replacement

The history of hip replacement traces back to 1891 in Germany where they used ivory to replace the hip, more specifically the femoral head. But the first metallic hip replacement was done in 1940 by an American surgeon called Dr.Austin Moore. Dr.Moore designed a proximal femoral replacement which was different from earlier forms. Dr.San Baw from Burma used ivory to replace ununited fractures of the femur in 1960 thus becoming the first person to do so.88% of Dr. San Baw’s patients were able to walk after the surgery which made him and his technique popular. After that modern techniques were implemented one after the other. These techniques help a person walk immediately after the surgery.

Purposes of Hip Replacement

Anyone may have genuine doubts on the purpose for hip replacement. There are mainly 2 major purposes for hip replacement.

  1. Pain relief

  2. Better functioning of the joint

All the conventional methods will be used to treat the pain while having issues with pain. If the chronic pain starts affecting a person’s routine affairs, he will have to find a remedy for the same as soon as possible. It can lead to a kind of depression also. Thus in that case, a surgery is needed. While walking, running and standing for a longtime people usually develops hip joint pains which can be really irritating. This irritation can be avoided through a simple surgery and it is one of the main purposes of hip replacement surgery.

Hip replacement surgery is also done to improve the joint function of the hip. The ball and socket mechanism is hip and leg is one of the most important movement functions in a person’s life. In a hip joint there is a layer called cartilage which is in between the head of femur bone and the acetabulum. Cartilage is responsible for preventing the bone grinding against other surfaces and this ease the head of femur to rotate in different directions for initiating different movements.

Types of Hip Replacements

There are different methods and materials used nowadays to do the hip replacement surgery.

Metal and Plastic: Hip replacement is commonly done using metal and plastic. Metal on polyethylene which has high durability is used commonly to make bearings which can serve as the rolling partner for the joint.

Ceramic:  Ceramics are also used in total replacement surgery. Ceramics can be polished very well and can be used as a scratch resistant material too. But it may get fractured easily compared to other materials. So patients with high level of activity and higher body weights cannot use this material.

Metal-on-Metal: In this method, there won’t be any plastic used in between. These most modern implants won’t have wear and tear easily. Some concerns about the release of microscopic particles because of this metal-metal combination also have been reported. So this technique is used only after in depth analysis.

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