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Understanding Hip Replacement Surgery

Happy Friday, everybody! Today’s blog is a guest post by Elizabeth Carrollton of drugwatch.com. Enjoy! – Alan

Understanding hip replacement surgery is important if it’s an option you’re considering to treat chronic hip problems. Being well-informed and engaged in the process as you prepare for surgery can make a big difference in your outcome, since there will be many important decisions to be made as your procedure and rehabilitation is planned. An aspect you’ll want to pay special attention to as you learn about the details of hip replacement is the type of implant to be used, since some have more risks associated with them than others.

Hip Replacement: What You Need to Know

Hip replacement is typically suggested when joint deterioration has reached the point that non-surgical treatments can no longer relieve pain or address mobility issues. It removes damaged or diseased joint components and replaces them with an implant, giving the joint a new femoral head, or ball, and acetabulum, or socket. Surgery is done through an incision in the front or side of your hip and generally takes about two hours.

Rehabilitation therapy typically begins almost immediately after surgery. You will probably see a physical therapist at your bedside within hours of your procedure, who will encourage you to sit up and move to reduce the risk of blood clots and other complications. In most cases, patients begin walking with support and assistance the day after surgery.

Once you are discharged from the hospital, physical therapy is generally continued for at least six to eight weeks, so arrangements should be made before your procedure.

Hip Replacement Implants: Risk and Recalls

A number of implants are made today using a variety of designs and materials. Choosing yours carefully is important, since some have proven troublesome to many patients.

Implants in which both the ball and socket components are made of metal, referred to as metal-on-metal hip replacement systems, have been the source of problems lately, prompting several recalls. The most recent recall involved the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip implant systems, which are prone to corrosion. High failure rates were an issue with these recalled products, as was a serious complication called metallosis, caused by the release of metal ions from the implants into the body, rubbed off as metallic components moved against each other. Metallosis can lead to severe pain and inflammation, tissue death around the implant and bone loss that can cause the implant to loosen.

While some troublesome implants have been recalled, similar models are still on the market and may carry many of the same risks. Options besides these potentially problematic metal-on-metal devices include implants made with various combinations of ceramic, plastic and metal materials. Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of all hip implants with your doctor.

Author Bio: Elizabeth Carrollton writes about medication safety and defective medical devices for Drugwatch.com.

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