Hemiarthroplasty is a surgical technique that is commonly used to treat hip fractures. Although similar to a total hip replacement, hip fracture hemiarthroplasty only replaces half of the hip, rather than the entire joint. The hip joint is a “ball-and-socket” joint. The head of the femur makes up the ball, while the acetabulum of the hip serves as the socket. Hemiarthroplasty for a broken hip replaces only the ball portion of the joint and leaves the original socket intact.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association over 300,000 hip fractures occur every year in the those over the age of sixty-five. The number of hip fractures in the United States is expected to increase dramatically due to longer life expectancy and the rising incidence of osteoporosis.
Contact Beverly Hills orthopaedic surgeon Sonu Ahluwalia, M.D., to learn more about hip surgery or to schedule a consultation. Our number is 310.430.1310, or you can reach us online.
Hip Fracture Treatment
Dr. Ahluwalia uses a number of techniques to treat hip fractures. The most common of these include:
- Internal Fixation
- Minimally invasive Hemiarthroplasty
- Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement
The decision as to which technique to use is based on several factors, including:
- Location of the fracture
- Severity of the fracture
- Level of independence and activity of the patient
- Bone and joint quality of the patient
Hip Fracture Treatment – Why Hemiarthroplasty?
Fractures of the hip often occur within the thin neck section of the thighbone (femur) that helps connect the “ball” end of the bone to the main shaft of the femur. When a fracture occurs in this area of the bone, it can cut off blood supply and lead to severe joint damage – a complication of the hip fracture known as avascular necrosis.
These types of hip fractures can be successfully repaired using the hemiarthroplasty technique. Hemiarthroplasty specifically targets this fractured portion of the hip joint. It does so by replacing the fractured bone with a prosthetic implant, while leaving the socket portion of the hip joint intact. The advantages of being able to treat certain types of hip fractures with the hemiarthroplasty approach include:
- Retaining more of the normal human anatomy
- Allowing patients to begin moving right away after surgery
- Avoiding the potential for complications that come from immobilization in bed
There are several types of devices available to use for hip hemiarthroplasty. All of these options will be discussed with you to help determine the best possible treatment plan for your hip fracture repair.
Hip Fracture Hemiarthroplasty
Hip hemiarthroplasty is performed under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia. Dr. Ahluwalia utilizes a minimally invasive muscle sparing approach and will make an incision over the outside of the hip. The fractured femoral head will then be removed and replaced with a prosthetic implant. Because only the “ball” portion of the hip joint is damaged, the socket is left intact. Once the surrounding muscles and tissues are reattached, the incisions will be closed with stitches.
Recovery Following Hip Fracture Hemiarthroplasty
Following your hip fracture hemiarthroplasty you will be monitored in a recovery room until the effects of the anesthesia have worn off. When you are awake and alert, Dr. Ahluwalia will assess your condition and discuss an individualized recovery plan. This may include prescription medications, physical therapy, compression garments, activity limitations, and follow up appointments. The medications that may be prescribed to aid in your recovery include painkillers, anticoagulants, and antibiotics.
It will be important to start moving around as much as possible in the days following your procedure. Physical therapy will be important after surgery to help restore movement and function to the joint. Therapy begins as soon as the patient feels comfortable after surgery, which is often the very next day.
Research shows that 6 months of physical therapy can improve quality of life and reduce disability following hip replacement procedures. Patients tend do much much better after the procedure. The overwhelming majority of patients experience effective, long-term results from the hemiarthroplasty procedure.
Contact a Hip Surgeon in Beverly Hills
Dr. Ahluwalia is a top Beverly Hills orthopaedic surgeon. To learn more about hip fracture hemiarthroplasty or to schedule a consultation, call us today at 310.651.7099. We look forward to hearing from you!