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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.

What to Do If You’ve Dislocated Your Hip?

Your hip is a ball and socket joint making it one of our most flexible joints, hence allowing greater range of motion than almost every other joint in the body, sans the shoulder. A smooth tissue, the articular cartilage, covers the surface of the ball and the socket. It creates a low friction surface that helps the bones glide easily across each other. The acetabulum is surrounded by strong fibrocartilage called the labrum. The labrum forms a lining around the socket, creating a tight seal, helping to provide stability to the hip joint

When they are healthy, it takes great force to hurt them. However, playing sports, running, overuse or falling, can all sometimes lead to hip injuries. These include strains, bursitis, dislocations, and fractures.

Certain diseases also lead to hip injuries or problems. Osteoarthritis can cause pain and limited motion. Osteoporosis of the hip causes weak bones that break easily, both of which are more common in older people.

What is A Hip Dislocation?

A traumatic hip dislocation occurs when the head of the thigh bone (femur) is forced out of its socket in the hip bone (pelvis). When there is a hip dislocation, the femoral head is pushed either backward out of the socket, or forward. It typically takes a major force, like a fall, to dislocate the hip. Car collisions and falls from significant heights are common causes and, as a result, other injuries like broken bones often occur with the dislocation. A hip dislocation is a serious medical emergency, where immediate treatment is necessary.

Symptoms of A Hip Dislocation:

  •  Severe chronic and persistent hip pain
  • Numbness in the foot, leg, or ankle
  • Limited mobility

If you have suffered an injury to your hip or think you may have dislocated it, request an appointment with the Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 for immediate treatment. 

Proper Sports Techniques to Prevent Hip Pain

The hip joint is one the large joints of the body that helps the thigh move forward and backward. The hip joint also rotates when sitting and with changes of direction when walking. 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. A joint lining tissue, called synovium, surrounds the hip joint. The synovium tissue produces fluid that lubricates the joint and provides nutrients to the cartilage of the joint. 

The singer Shakira had it right when she says “Hips Don’t Lie” in her hit song. It seems that until our hips are in pain, we don’t give them much thought. We use our hips every day, when we walk, stand, sit and workout. In fact, there are few times when we are not using our hips, especially when playing sports or exercising.

If your hips are not working properly, other movements and muscles will suffer. Your hips are able to withstand a great amount of stress, but if they are used improperly, an uneven amount of stress can be transferred elsewhere in the body where it is not meant to go. Over time, the muscle that is compensating for the weakened hip muscles will begin to feel tight, decreasing agility and speed, as well as taking longer to recover. Reducing participation in painful activities is the most important step a patient can take. Here are some other tips to help reduce pain:

Modifying activity: Athletes who must perform repetitive movements will need to avoid painful activities and modify their training during the rehabilitation process.

Icing: Applying ice after exercise may diminish the pain and other symptoms, such as swelling.

Medication: Physicians frequently prescribe ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce inflammation and pain. Physicians also may prescribe injections of steroids or anesthetic to both diagnose the source and treat the pain.

Rehabilitation: Physical therapy is often needed to reduce pain and improve function. Therapy will include heat and/or ice to decrease inflammation and stretching/strengthening exercises for specific hip muscles. The therapy will progress to more functional activities, simulating sport-specific motions. As the symptoms improve, a specific training program will allow proper, incremental return to full activity.

To learn more about hip pain and how to treat it, call the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment, or request one online.