Hip replacement surgery has become one of the more common surgeries being done in the past few years and with the rise in demand for these surgeries, the advancements to provide a better treatment system to the patients are bound to happen. Until a few years ago, people had to stay in hospitals for more than a couple of weeks after being operated on for hip replacement. They would become dependent on other people as well as walkers to learn to walk again.
Rehab centres played an important role in this process but with the recent advancements in Hip Replacement Surgery, a patient could get discharged from the Hospital in a couple of days or even sooner depending on their condition. OnlyMyHealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Akhilesh Yadav - Associate Director - Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali, to know about the recent advancements in hip replacement surgery.
Since Joint Replacement Surgery is considered to be one of the most major and complex procedures performed, it is not recommended for people who experience moderate pain and is only recommended for people experiencing functional disabilities. Recent advancements have made these surgeries easier with less recovery time and better pain control.
A patient may require Hip Replacement Surgery for several reasons, some of the common causes of a patient experiencing Hip pain can be Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Posttraumatic Arthritis, Osteonecrosis and Childhood hip disease. Hip Replacement Surgery generally takes an hour or two where the surgeon removes the patient’s damaged bone and cartilage and replaces it with prosthetic components.
In the past, these Joint Replacement Surgeries were done with the help of GA but nowadays with minimal invasive techniques doctors have started using Epidural or Spinal Anaesthesia which has made a huge difference in the recovery time of the patient. Smaller incisions avoid damaging muscles and help in quicker recovery. The operative time has also been reduced from long surgeries to shorter ones because longer surgeries result in soreness and blood loss. Nowadays, hip pain because of arthritis has become a major problem among young adults, especially women in their 40s and 50s.
Also read: What is knee replacement surgery?
There are mainly five types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint. These are: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus and Psoriatic arthritis. Non-Surgical treatment for arthritis of the hip may include: Anti-inflammatory medications; Corticosteroids, injections to block the inflammation in the joint; Physiotherapy or exercise programs to improve flexibility and muscle strength; Swimming is an excellent exercise for arthritis; Weight reduction in case of overweight patients and devices such as canes/walkers to make it easier to walk.
Previously, Joint Hip Replacement patients had to get a blood transfusion after the surgery due to the excessive blood loss which meant longer stays at the hospital. But with the help of a medication called Tranexamic Acid which reduces bleeding, fewer patients require a blood transfusion, which means less swelling or post-surgical pain. TXA has been regarded as the biggest advancement in Orthopaedics in the last decade or so. Patients are typically a little slow and stiff in the first three weeks after the operation and are around 90% recovered after 12 weeks.\
The advancements have allowed the surgeons to choose from a wide array of hip replacement components i.e., the replacement joint could be a combination of metal, plastic, or ceramic. A metal ball with a plastic socket or a ceramic ball along with a plastic socket are two of the most common approaches followed in these approaches. A newly introduced plastic for artificial joints called the "highly cross-linked polyethylene" helps extend the life of the implants and reduces the risk of having a weakened or fractured bone for up to 10 years.
Hip replacement surgeries require medical history, X-rays, physical examination and other tests like MRI to evaluate the situation and then proceed with the surgery. These advancements have helped hospitals provide better healthcare services for the patients all over the world and made the lives of these patients better.