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Treatments for Hip Pain

As we age, hip pain becomes a common issue for many of us – and there are a wide range of causes for it. The most common cause of hip pain is arthritis, which causes the joints to become inflamed and ache.

Osteoarthritis, also often called simply “arthritis,” is considered an overuse type of arthritic injury. It can occur in athletes in joints that are overused, and it can occur in people as we get older and have been using our hips and other joints for many years. Arthritis inflammation leads to swelling, and the swelling leads to stiffness and pain. 

If you are experiencing chronic pain in one or both hips, the method of treatment for your hip pain will depend on the underlying cause of the pain. Let’s talk about what can be done to treat and minimize your hip pain, and who can best help you.

What Can I Do for My Hip Pain?

There are several things you can do and lifestyle changes you can make in order to help lessen your hip pain, including the following:

  • If you are overweight, lose weight. That would place less pressure on the hips, knees, and feet.
  • Avoid jogging or running downhill. If you are an avid jogger and come to a downhill section, the gravity of each stride plus your body weight places additional stressors on the hip joint – so it’s better to walk down the hills.
  • Avoid standing for a long time.
  • See an orthopedist for some methods to strengthen the surrounding muscles without placing pressure on the hip. The hip joint is a very deep joint and is surrounded by muscle, so strengthening those muscles will help take some pressure off the hip and bring relief.

Minimizing Impact on Your Hips

If you engage in high-impact activities, always warm up before a workout. That includes a full 15 minutes of stretching.

It is a good idea to swap jogging or tennis for more low-impact or no-impact activities, such as cycling or swimming. Activities with less impact will cause less damage to your hip.

Ensure that your shoes fit properly, and that you are wearing the correct gear. Your socks, shoes, and clothing should all fit you well and not tug while you move. Shoes and socks that are too tight can hinder proper circulation, so make sure they’re supportive and snug without making your toes immovable in them. Shoes should have enough cushioning to absorb the shock away from your hips while you walk. 

Medical Treatment for Hip Pain

Your orthopedist will diagnose the source of your hip pain and will provide the best plan to move ahead with your treatment. Ultrasound-guided injections can bring about several months with minimized pain. Physical therapy is also very helpful for many patients.

If physical therapy, pain-relief injections, and other noninvasive or minimally invasive methods do not work to lessen your hip pain, your orthopedist may discuss hip surgery with you. Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery is now available as an outpatient treatment, and this may work for you.

The medical field has made incredible strides in pain-relief treatments, and your orthopedic physician will explain your options.

Hip Doctors in Colorado Springs 

If you are in or near Colorado Springs, and you or a loved one suffers from hip pain, get it checked out by experienced orthopedic surgeons. Our team takes care of high-profile Olympians, professional and amateur athletes, as well as weekend warriors and active retirees. We will first try the most minimally invasive methods possible to help relieve your hip pain, and that may be all you need to get back to your active lifestyle.

Contact our team today at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence by calling us at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online, and see some of the best orthopedic doctors in Colorado!

How Chiropractic Care Can Worsen Your Hip Pain

When you’re experiencing moderate to severe hip pain, you just want the hurting to stop. So, in an effort to avoid surgery, you may try all sorts of alternative treatments – including chiropractic. After all, it is a form of medicine mostly focused on the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system, including the hip.

With the goal of relieving your hip pain, a trained chiropractor will examine your hip – along with your spine, gait and posture – and employ specific stretching exercises to get to the source of your problem. However, when it comes to hip pain, chiropractic treatment can do more harm than good.

What Chiropractic Does – and Does Not

The purpose of chiropractic care is to heal painful joints, muscles, and ligaments using noninvasive methods such as massage and manipulation of the spine. The goal is to realign the body, alleviating any imbalances in the spine or muscles.

Hip pain is often – but not exclusively – due to wear and tear of the hip joint, so a chiropractor may assume that your hip pain is due to an irritated nerve root at the spine. This may well be the case, since any sort of musculoskeletal pain in the hip or legs can have a spinal component. However, while attempting to align your spine, chiropractic adjustment may shift muscles and ligaments in ways that are unnatural, thus resulting in worse pain than you originally had, or creating pain that previously did not exist in parts of your body. 

This is not to say that chiropractic care should not be considered for hip pain. Some evidence suggests that low-force, gentle chiropractic can help relieve pressure in aching hips of patients, who either experience discomfort with sudden movements or have been diagnosed with a compressed nerve condition, such as sciatica.

Hip Pain Care

If your condition does not require surgery, chiropractic adjustment should only be recommended by an orthopedist and used in conjunction with other noninvasive therapies, as part of a comprehensive approach to treating your hip pain. These may include:

  • A healthy diet of anti-inflammatory foods to help reduce pain and excess weight, thus reducing pressure on hip joints.
  • Regular exercise in the form of hip stretches to promote healing. If necessary, you may be referred to a physical therapist who will get you started with the appropriate exercises.
  • Better sleep practices designed to take weight off your hips.
  • Massage therapy to relieve strained, sore, or tight muscles that are causing your hip pain.

Expert Hip Treatment in Colorado Springs

At Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence, our orthopedic experts offer nonsurgical hip treatments for painful conditions including arthritis, such as viscosupplementation injections. When surgery is warranted, our orthopedic surgeons utilize the least invasive techniques available, including minimally invasive hip replacement and direct anterior hip replacement.

For outstanding and effective orthopedic treatment of your hip joint condition, request an appointment online, or call our Colorado Springs office at (719) 623-1050.

Doctors’ Tips and Tricks for Relieving Hip Pain

Hip pain can affect daily life, making it difficult to walk, climb stairs, bend over, or even sit down comfortably. But hip pain does not need to rule your life. Once you’ve visited an orthopedist to find out what’s wrong with your hip and how to treat it, you can manage the pain in several ways.

The board-certified doctors at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence offer methods you can do at home to help relieve your hip pain.

Ice It Down

If your hip is hurting, it’s most likely because the joint is inflamed. Your hip joint can become inflamed from arthritis or bursitis conditions. If this happens, try putting ice on the joint. Ice can help lower inflammation and control the pain.

Heat It Up

If you have an arthritic hip joint, using warm heat from a bath or a shower can help soothe the joint. Be advised, however, that if you have bursitis, you should not use heat, as it can actually make the inflammation worse.

Lose Weight

Though it takes time to do, losing weight helps relieve some of the pressure on your hip joint. If you have osteoarthritis (also known as wear-and-tear arthritis), your hip pain can lessen by losing even a few pounds.

Exercise

By starting your day with light exercise, you can get your muscles working to help support you the rest of the day. A great hip exercise to start your day with is the bridge exercise. 

The Bridge

To do the bridge, lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Raise your buttocks off of the floor. As you’re doing this, tighten your abdominal muscles. Try to keep your knees, ankles, and shoulders aligned. Do not arch your back. Try to hold this position for 3-5 seconds. Start with one set of 10 reps, eventually building up to 2-3 sets over time.

Water Workout

Water aerobics and swimming are great exercises for your hip joints. Exercising in the water allows you to build up your muscles without adding additional stress or pressure on the joints.

Walking

Walking helps strengthen your muscles without putting stress on your joints. Exercises like running and jumping should be avoided, since they can make hip pain worse – especially hip pain that is caused by arthritis or bursitis.

Hip Stretching

If you have hip pain caused by bursitis, it can help to stretch the hip muscles that sit on top of the bursae, which are sacs of fluid making up part of the hip joint’s lining.

To do this stretch, kneel on the leg of the hip that’s giving you pain (hold on to something sturdy for balance). Then, tilt your pelvis forward and tighten the muscles in your buttocks. Lean away from the hip that hurts. By doing this, you should feel a pull from the top of your hip bone to the side of your leg and down to your knee. Try to hold this stretch for 30 seconds, repeating 1-2 times.

Thigh Strengthening

Your inner thighs help support your hips; therefore, strengthening these muscles can help lessen your hip pain. However, please note that these exercises are not for hip pain caused by bursitis.

To strengthen your inner thighs, lie flat on your back, put a ball (about the size of a volleyball) between your knees, and squeeze. Do 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions. Make sure you keep your pelvis tilted down to the floor so that your back is protected.

If arthritis is causing your hip pain, then strengthening the outer thighs can help add support.

To strengthen the outer thighs, lie on the side that does not hurt you. Lift the leg on your arthritic side about 6 inches, holding it for 2-3 seconds, and then lower it again. Do 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions. If it isn’t too painful, try repeating this on your other side.

Listen to Your Body

Always listen to your body when stretching and exercising. If you experience pain that lingers for hours or days after exercise, it may be a sign that your joint needs to rest. While some soreness is expected after exercise, that soreness should not persist or become worse. If you experience any sharp pains or other symptoms, stop the exercise immediately and talk to your doctor.

Different Treatments for Different Reasons

Keep in mind that some of these tips for pain relief may be better for some than others. It depends on the reasons behind your hip pain. The best way to know for sure what’s causing your hip pain is to visit a board-certified orthopedist who can properly diagnose and treat you. Then you can use the pain relief methods that work best for you and your condition.

Orthopedic Expertise in Colorado

Don’t let hip pain rule your life. For outstanding orthopedic treatment of your hip pain, visit the board-certified doctors at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence.

When surgery is warranted, we utilize the latest and least-invasive techniques available. We ensure the best care possible, delivered with compassion and respect.

Call (719) 623-1050 or use our online form to request an appointment today. We look forward to caring for all of your orthopedic needs.

Orthopedic Tests for Hip and Pelvic Problems

Pain of the hip and pelvic area is one of the most frequent types of joint pain seen by orthopedic doctors. Pain in this area can have many causes, and it can be disabling for athletes as well as less active people.

A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that about 7 percent of Americans experience some degree of hip pain or stiffness.

How Is My Hip Pain Diagnosed?

Following are some of the tests that are regularly used by orthopedists to determine the specific condition causing pain in the hip and pelvic area:

Initial Exam and Tests 

Your doctor will begin by asking about your symptoms, the time they started, and any possible accidents or diseases you might have experienced. Next, your doctor will test your posture and gait, with you in both standing and seated positions. Measurements of your leg bones may also be taken by the doctor. 

Imaging Tests 

Imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI, may be the next step your doctor might suggest to determine the cause of your pain. A more specific test called an MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) uses a contrast dye to look at your hip joints in high detail.

Lab Tests

Orthopedists also use laboratory tests to help determine issues that cause pain and stiffness. A blood test can show, for example, the presence of an antibody that may cause a type of arthritis.

Blood tests can also help find Lyme disease and lupus, both of which may affect your hips. In addition, your doctor may draw a small amount of fluid from your hip joints to confirm a diagnosis of gout or a bacterial infection.

Manual Tests 

Special manual tests or maneuvers are also part of the process to determine the cause of your hip or pelvic pain. Over the past several decades, orthopedists have developed more than a dozen of these hands-on tests.

During these mechanical tests, your doctor will ask you to sit, stand, or lie down with your body in different positions, and to make a series of movements. Your doctor will observe your performance during these tests to help in the diagnosis. 

These hands-on procedures include the following: 

·      Pelvic Rocking Test – This is used to check joint stability in the hip. A limited range of motion or pain during this test may suggest an injury or a possible infection.

·      Trendelenburg Sign – This test looks for weakness in the abductor muscles of the hips, such as the gluteus. The abductor muscles help draw your legs away from your body in activities such as walking or running.

·      Telescoping Test – This test looks for possible hip dislocation, where the head of your upper leg bone (femur) moves out of the socket where it normally sits.

Hip Surgeons in Colorado Springs

If you are experiencing hip and pelvic pain or stiffness, or other issues with your joints or muscles, we are here to help. Our team of physicians at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence are experts in sports medicine and joint injuries, and we can evaluate, implement, and monitor the most effective treatments.

For outstanding orthopedic treatment, schedule a consultation by calling our Colorado Springs office today at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment here. We look forward to helping you live a more pain-free lifestyle so you can get back in the game.

Recovering from My Broken Hip

Getting a broken hip is like slamming the brake pedal on your life. The recovery process may take months and will likely require making accommodations in your plans. While recovering from a broken hip can take a while, there are many things you can do to make the recovery period go well. 

Whether it’s due to an accident, sports injury, or another reason, a surgery will most likely be necessary to fix a broken hip. There are a few types of hip surgeries that are performed to fix hip fractures. Whether it’s an internal repair, partial hip replacement, or a total hip replacement, your surgeon will be the best person to determine which type of surgery is best for your situation.

How to Make the Recovery Period After Hip Surgery Go Well

Preparing Your Home – After your hip surgery, your ability to physically move as you used to will be limited. During the recovery period, you will need to make accommodations in your home so that you can limit the number of obstacles that may get in the way of your daily activities. For example, make sure to have the right tools available to you for getting around the house. Ask your surgeon if you need a walking cane, crutches, or a walker to reduce pressure on the hip. In addition, you may have to make sure you don’t climb stairs during your recovery while your body heals. If you live in a multistory home, you may have to make temporary adjustments to your home while you recover, such as setting up sleeping arrangements on the first floor if you typically sleep on the second floor. Another example is making sure you have a bathing chair set up in your tub for showering. Your surgeon will be able to tell you exactly what accommodations you need to make and what supplies you will need to make sure your recovery period goes well.

Physical Therapy – Once your broken hip begins to heal, your surgeon will likely recommend physical therapy. Your body will need to get used to functioning the way it’s supposed to. Physical therapy allows you to get your hip to practice natural movements so the joint motions and strength can be revived. Make sure to follow your physical therapy instructions exactly as your surgeon and physical therapist suggest so that your broken hip recovery goes well.   

Healthy Diet and Lifestyle – Finally, make sure you maintain a healthy diet during your recovery from hip surgery. Although a healthy diet is important regardless, during recovery your body needs the right nutrients to adequately recover. Make sure to stay away from foods high in sugars, trans fats, and salts. Eat healthy fruits and vegetables that provide the right type of fuel to your body while it heals. Also, make sure to stay away from alcohol as it interferes with a lot of medications. Smoking slows down the healing process and can make your hip recovery period last longer than it should. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle are really important to your hip recovery. Make sure to talk to your surgeon about what you can do to improve your lifestyle while you are healing from your broken hip.

The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence would love to help you recover from the musculoskeletal issue you are experiencing. Call (719) 623-1050 today to make an appointment with one of our highly trained doctors.

FAQs for Your Orthopedic Surgeon Before Hip Surgery

If you need hip surgery, it’s important to have as much information about the procedure, recovery and what kind of outcome you may expect. In addition to researching a practice and the surgeon’s reputation, these are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) for your orthopedic surgeon before having hip surgery. 

What exactly is the hip procedure?

Although most hip surgeries involve joint replacement, or arthroplasty, there are other hip procedures performed for various conditions. Here are the most common:

·       Total hip replacement – usually performed to treat osteoarthritis of the hip that has progressed to the point of severe and constant pain that interferes with movement. The damaged part of the joint is cut away or removed, including the end of the femur (the ball of the joint) and cartilage and soft tissues from the inside of the joint. They are replaced with a smooth ball that fits into a prosthetic socket usually made of ceramic or steel.

·       Hip resurfacing –  similar to total hip replacement, prosthetic materials are implanted in the body to replace the hip joint. With hip resurfacing, the head of the femur is fitted with a smooth cap instead of removing the bone area and replacing it with a ball. The socket implanted in the hip fits the resurfaced femur for smooth and pain-free movement.

·       Partial hip replacement – if the end of the femur suffers a bad fracture, a partial hip replacement may be necessary to restore movement. In that case, the femur head is removed and replaced with a ball but the rest of the hip joint is left intact.

·       Hip arthroplasty – using small instruments fitted with a light and camera, the surgeon can remove damaged cartilage from the labrum, or the rim of the hip socket, and any small growths from the femur. This minimally-invasive procedure can be both diagnostic and therapeutic.

Is hip surgery necessary?

Have you tried more conservative methods of treatment for your condition? What are the options? Why does your doctor feel that hip surgery is the best course of action for your care? Some non-surgical treatments for hip conditions like osteoarthritis include physical therapy, assistive devices, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids, and viscosupplementation. 

What is the timeline for recovery?

Recovery can take time and effort after hip surgery. Does the procedure require a hospital stay, and if so, how many days? When will you be able to get around without help? When can you expect to drive, and return to work? Is physical therapy part of recovery? How many times per week? 

If you are in a great deal of pain or feeling emotional about your treatment options, it may be helpful to bring someone with you to your appointment who can help ask questions and remember the details of what is said. If you don’t have that option, bring a notebook where you write your questions before the visit and take notes.

If you have an orthopedic hip condition or injury, the board-certified orthopedic surgeons at the Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs can help. Call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.

Recovering from Hip Dislocation

A hip dislocation is a serious and painful injury. It is usually the result of some very strong trauma, as in the case of an automobile accident or a fall. When the smooth end of the femur, or thigh bone, is pushed out of the socket formed by the pelvis, the hip joint is said to be dislocated. Emergency treatment is necessary for this injury, and a healthy recovery is vital towards returning mobility and preventing chronic pain. 

It is possible for your doctor to realign the hip joint by hand, but because of the amount of force necessary to drive the joint out of place, there is usually at least one other injury involved. 90% of hip dislocations are posterior, where the femur is pushed behind the socket of the pelvis and 10% are anterior, where the femur is pushed forward from the pelvis. 

Often, a hip dislocation is accompanied by a fracture, either to the extremities or to part of the pelvis from the force that dislodges the femur. In this case, surgery may be necessary to correct the position of the hip and repair the fractured bone at the same time. That kind of fracture sometimes occurs when the knees impact an automobile’s dashboard when there is an accident. Safety belts and airbags are meant to help protect car riders from this type of injury.

The smooth covering of cartilage on the femur is also likely to suffer some damage from a hip dislocation. Nerves and ligaments that attach the parts of the hip and make it possible for movement are damaged and torn when the hip is dislocated, too. Regaining full ability to move without pain takes time. Recovering from a hip dislocation involves rest, medication to control swelling and pain, and will often benefit from physical therapy. You may use crutches or a cane to help balance during your recovery, and there may be some permanent nerve damage or arthritis that develops as a result of the injury. 

Hip dislocation requires emergency care from an orthopedic expert. The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs cares for anybody in need of orthopedic care, from the victim of an auto accident to the world’s elite athletes. If you have an urgent orthopedic injury, call (719) 623-1050 today for an appointment.

Hip Dislocations 101: What You Should Know

It usually takes a traumatic injury – like being in a car accident or falling from a significant height – to cause a hip dislocation. And if or when it happens, it’s a serious medical emergency requiring immediate treatment. While the initial treatment is quick, it isn’t without pain, and there is often a long recovery time.

A hip dislocation occurs when the head of the thighbone (the femur) is forced out of its socket in the pelvis (or hip bone). The hip itself is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball is the femoral head at the upper end of the femur, and the socket is formed by the acetabulum, which is part of the large pelvis bone.

A Painful Experience

When there is a hip dislocation, the femoral head is pushed either backward out of the socket, or forward. In approximately 90 percent of hip dislocation cases, the thighbone is pushed out of the socket in a backwards direction. That’s called a posterior dislocation. It leaves the lower leg in a fixed position, with the knee and foot rotated in toward the middle of the body. 

When the thighbone slips out of its socket in a forward direction – what is known as an anterior dislocation – the hip is bent only slightly, and the leg will rotate out and away from the middle of the body.

In either case, a hip dislocation is extremely painful because the ligaments, labrum, muscles, and other soft tissues holding the bones in place are often torn and damaged. Also, nerves around the hip may be injured. You are unable to move your leg and, if there’s nerve damage, you may not have feeling in your foot or ankle.

The most common cause of traumatic hip dislocations are motor vehicle collisions in which the knee is forced against the dashboard. That drives the thigh backwards, which pops the ball head of the femur out of the hip socket. You can reduce your risk of hip dislocation during a collision by wearing a seatbelt at all times. 

How Hip Dislocations Are Treated

An orthopedic surgeon can usually diagnose a hip dislocation simply by looking at the position of the leg. However, the doctor will conduct a thorough physical evaluation since hip dislocations often involve additional injuries. The doctor may order X-rays or other imaging tests to pinpoint the exact position of the dislocated bones and identify any additional fractures in the hip or thighbone.

If there aren’t other injuries, the doctor will administer an anesthetic or sedative, then manipulate the bones back into their proper position. This procedure is called a reduction. A hip reduction takes a lot of force, combined with just the right movement and positioning.

If torn soft tissue or small bone fragments block the bone from going back into the socket, surgery may be necessary to remove the loose tissues and fragments and correctly position the bones. Once the reduction is complete, the doctor will order another set of X-rays and possibly a CT scan to be sure the bones are in proper position.

It can take up to three months for a hip to heal after a dislocation. And if there are additional fractures, the rehabilitation period could be longer. In the meantime, your doctor may recommend limiting your hip motion for several weeks to prevent another dislocation. Also, physical therapy is often recommended.

Within a short time, patients often start walking again with the aid of crutches. Also, walkers and canes can help patients regain their mobility.

The Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs provides treatment for patients with hip dislocations and other needs. From sports injuries to car accidents, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons can diagnose your condition and explain your treatment options. Call us today at (719) 623-1050 for an appointment.

Hip Replacement vs Hip Resurfacing

We don’t think about how much wear and tear our musculoskeletal system takes on a daily basis, especially our hips. As we age, everyday use wears down the bones and cartilage inside the hip joint. This natural degeneration of the bones and cartilage inside the hip is the cause of one of the most common condition affecting the hip, called osteoarthritis. This is a painful condition that causes severe chronic pain, stiffness in the joint, and limited mobility, which inhibits people from going about their daily tasks and activities. The good news, is that surgical procedures such as hip replacement or resurfacing help man people restore function and mobility, reducing the pain caused by bone on bone friction in the hip.

The hip joint is where the ball of the thigh bone (femur) joins the pelvis at a socket called the acetabulum. There is cartilage covering both the bone of the femur and the acetabulum of the pelvis in the hip joint. This helps to prevent bone on bone friction, keeping the bones from wearing down. Damage to any of the hip joint components will cause significant chronic pain, discomfort, and dysfunction (limited mobility).

There is a tissue lining surrounding the hip joint, called synovium, which produces fluid, and is responsible for lubricating the joint and providing nutrients to the cartilage of the joint. The hip joint is one the large joints of the body which most importantly enables us to have a wide range of mobility, helping the thigh move forwards and backwards. Without hip cartilage, the bones connecting the joints will rub up against each other, causing painful friction, inflammation, and in some cases, bone deformity.

If you have been suffering with hip pain and reduced function, it’s important to consult with an orthopedic specialist to diagnose the problem. If tests show that surgical intervention is required to treat your case of hip osteoarthritis, there are two solutions: hip resurfacing or hip replacement. Both hip resurfacing and hip replacement procedures involve removing the damaged hip joint and replacing it with a prosthetic joint. Hip pain is a hard condition to live with, and if you are an active person especially, not being able to do what you love is a major problem. That’s why Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence stays up to date on the best, most advance surgical options for repairing and replacing degenerative hips. So, what are the differences between hip replacement and hip resurfacing? 

Hip Replacement

Hip replacement surgery, also known as hip arthroplasty, is a technique which has become widespread in recent years in response to the need for repairing hip joints that have been damaged by injury or arthritis. According to research, last year, approximately 300,000 Americans underwent a total hip replacement to relieve the pain of an arthritic or broken hip joint.

A hip replacement is a surgical procedure where the diseased cartilage and bone of the hip joint is surgically replaced with a prosthetic joint. As mentioned before, the normal hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The socket is a “cup-shaped” component of the pelvis called the acetabulum. The ball is the head of the thighbone (femur). Hip replacement involves the surgical removal of the diseased and degenerated ball and socket joint, replacing them with an artificial hip implant, where a metal, ceramic, or plastic ball and cup socket is inserted into the femur bone. An additional rod is also used to fuse the joint together. The goal of hip resurfacing is to remove problematic areas and replace them with an artificial joint that will help the hip to work more efficiently than the damaged original.

Typical candidates for hip replacement surgery are patients experiencing hip pain who have not responded well to traditional treatment methods, such as physical therapy or pain medications. As with resurfacing, recovery from this procedure is a bit of a process, depending on the severity of the case, and the person. In most cases, patients remain hospitalized for 4 to 6 days, but usually with the aid of physical therapy, crutches or a walker, patients recovering can start walking again within a few days of the surgery. For patients who are recipients of hip replacements, their artificial hip should last up to 15 years or more, and will most importantly, improve their quality of life by allowing them to go about their lives with minimal pain.

Hip Resurfacing

Anatomically thinking, the end of the leg bone (femur) is a round ball, which fits into a space within the hip bone (socket). During hip resurfacing surgery, the ball joint is covered with a metal prosthesis while preserving the bone. 

In other words, hip resurfacing, unlike hip replacement surgery, is a procedure that only deals with the ball of the hip. During this procedure, the surgeon reshapes the damaged hip ball, which then is capped with a metal prosthesis. The damaged hip socket is also fitted with a metal prosthesis as well.

Hip resurfacing has become popular, and has attracted younger patients, because it has been said that this procedure preserves more bone, and is often considered to be a better solution than a total hip replacement. However, depending on the damage and condition of the joint, hip resurfacing may not be enough needed for repair.

Today, the sockets used during hip replacement surgery, are composed of two main components: a metal socket into which bone grows, and a plastic liner. This is an important distinction because if for some reason the hip fails and more surgery is necessary, the entire socket in a resurfaced hip most likely will need to be removed and replaced with a new one. If hip replacement surgery fails, and more surgery is needed to revise the socket, the hip resurfacing procedure is designed, so that only the plastic liner has to be revised, not the metal shell.

In other words, the fact that hip resurfacing preserves more bone is important, because having more femoral bone available will make the femoral revision easier. Physicians often say to their patients, that it is easier to deal with bone loss on the femoral side than on the socket side.

Recovery after the hip resurfacing procedure takes a bit longer than other minimally invasive surgeries, due to the procedures complex nature. Most patients are able to walk unassisted after two to three weeks. A resurfaced hip joint can last up to 20 years without complications.

To learn more about hip replacement and hip resurfacing, and if you may be a candidate, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online.

The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement

The hip is a major joint. During a total hip replacement, which is typically an invasive procedure, the surgeon removes the top of the femur, or thigh bone, and replaces it with an artificial stem and ball, made of ceramic, metal, or plastic – inserted into the hip socket. 

During traditional hip replacement surgery, surgeons usually have to make a 12-inch incision at the thigh area, cutting through tendons and muscles in order to reach the hip joint. This will not only cause trauma to the area, but can also cause a large amount of blood to be lost, due to the invasive nature of the surgery. Not only that, during a total hip replacement, the hip is usually dislocated beforehand, which by nature causes damages to tissue in the hip, and the surrounding tissues as well.

Today, advances in medical technology has developed in multiple aspects, including: surgical techniques, patient education, patient pre-op preparation, discharge process, the way anesthesia is administered, etc. These advancements include making joint replacement a minimally-invasive procedure with cutting-edge technology such as da Vinci robotics, which has drastically improved patient health, and have led to less hospital readmissions and shorter stays. This also means that patients experience a faster recovery, and may experience a lower risk of complications.

Just like the traditional hip replacements, minimally invasive hip replacement surgery also involves replacing the damaged hip joint with prosthetic parts. However, with the procedure being minimally invasive, the surgeons use smaller incisions, causing less damage to the surrounding muscle and soft tissue. Much like arthroscopic surgery, the orthopedic surgeon is able to utilize the smallest tools and scopes possible to reduce the damage to surrounding tissue.

Other advantages of minimally invasive hip replacement include:

  • A smaller incision or pair of incisions results in a smaller post-surgery scar.
  • Less blood loss during surgery.
  • Less cutting of muscle and tissue during the procedure, resulting in shorter and easier rehabilitation.
  • The procedure may require a hospital stay of only one or two days, and can even be done as an outpatient procedure, allowing the patient to go home to same day.

Despite the many advantages of a minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, not all patients will qualify, depending on the severity of their damaged or diseased joint. Talk to your doctor immediately about your hip pain, in order to find out if you are a candidate for this procedure. Don’t wait, as doing so can cause further complications. Patients who are obese or have existing bone problems such as osteoporosis are not candidates, as excess weight places extreme stress on your joints. The doctor may suggest making healthy lifestyle changes before undergoing the procedure.  Despite its name, minimally invasive surgery is still a complex procedure.

To find out if you may be a candidate for minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online.