If you suffer from hip arthritis, a hip replacement may be an answer to your pain and discomfort. There are several types of hip implants. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types before you have to make the decision to have a hip replacement.
Hip replacements are the most common types of orthopedic surgeries performed. During this surgical procedure, the damaged, arthritic hip joint is removed. The ball and socket hip joint is replaced with an artificial hip joint that has more cushioning between the articulating pieces and gives the recipient greater control without pain.
The materials used for the replacement joint depends on several factors. Some of these factors will include the age of the patient, the activity level of the patient and sometimes it is just the surgeon’s preference.
The most common type of hip implant used today is the metal and plastic implant. The socket and the ball of the hip is replaced with metal. A plastic spacer will be inserted between. The metals used may be made of titanium, cobalt chrome or stainless steel. This implant is secured in place by either press fitting it to the bone or by cementing it in place.
When the implant is press fitted to the bone, it is fit snuggly into place and new bone will grow around the implant. This will secure it into place naturally.
Metal on metal implants are made of similar materials as the metal and plastic implants. With the metal on metal, there is no plastic piece placed in between. The metal on metal implants will last longer than the metal and plastic.
The one big concern about the metal on metal implants is the debris released from wear. Metal ions are released into the blood and these ions can be detected throughout the body. It may be possible for these metal ions to increase the risk for cancer and other diseases.
A ceramic on ceramic implant is designed to wear longer than the metal on metal implant. These implants are scratch resistant and smoother than the metal on metal implants. There are concerns about the ceramic implants breaking inside the body.
There is a new type of plastic that is now being used in hip implants. This highly cross linked plastic is designed to be more resistant to wear. The idea is to be able to use the metal and plastic designed and have it last just as long, if not longer, than the metal on metal implants. This type of implant has only been available for a few years, so it is too early to tell how durable it is.
A hip implant can relieve the severe pain from hip arthritis. After a hip implant, you should be able to return to normal daily activities after a while. There may be precautions that you will have to take, but your doctor will let you know what these precautions are.
Arthritis Research UK: What are the different types of hip replacements?
American Academy Orthopedic Surgeons: Total Hip Replacements
Wake Forest Baptist Health: Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement
Get BoneSmart: Type of Hip Implants
Cedars-Sinai: Hip Replacements
US Food and Drug Administration: Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: Questions and Answers about Hip Replacement
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: Questions and Answers about Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants