Hip prosthesis refers to an internal device (implant) that replaces a defective hip joint. Wear and tear in the hip joint cartilage can cause pain and walking difficulties that are not relieved by treatment. In this case, surgery may be recommended to restore the patient's walking function and reduce his or her suffering. Today, the placement of a total hip replacement, or THP, offers increasingly satisfactory results.
Osteoarthritis and hip necrosis are the two main causes of painful deterioration of the hip joint.
In both cases, the friction surface between the thigh bone and the pelvic bone shows wear and tear. This causes pain or disabling stiffness. There is currently no effective way to repair this cartilage friction surface.
Duration of hospital stay
3 to 5 days.
Average length of stay
1 to 3 weeks.
After the procedure, there is a risk of venous thrombosis.
The surgeon will therefore decide whether the patient can travel.
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If the surgeon decides to perform a total hip replacement (THP), there must be both significant, prolonged pain or discomfort resistant to medical treatment and an x-ray of the hip confirming the advanced wear and tear.
A complete preoperative check-up will be necessary with: a consultation with an anaesthetist, a cardiologist, a blood test, a specific radiograph to measure the dimensions of the necessary prosthesis.
The skin incision is made on the edge of the hip.
The procedure can last between 1 and 3 hours: from the installation of the surgical fields to the exit of the operating room.
The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia.
A blood recovery system allows the patient to be reinjected with the blood volume lost during the procedure.
The total hip prosthesis (THP) consists of 3 or 4 parts, some of which are attached to the bone in the femur and pelvis, others are assembled together. Metal (various possible alloys based on chromium-cobalt, titanium or oxinium), polyethylene (special industrial plastic material) and ceramics are the three most classic materials of a hip prosthesis.
There are dozens of types of prostheses among which the surgeon makes his/her choice according to each case.
From the second day after the operation, the patient can sit in a chair.
The redon drains (small tubes positioned under the scar to draw blood and avoid a hematoma) are removed on the third day.
Walking is started with crutches as soon as possible in the days following the operation to avoid the occurrence of phlebitis (blood clot in a vein of the leg).
The average length of stay at the clinic is one week, but it tends to decrease with recent progress.
Rehabilitation is then necessary, it begins in hospital and continues in a centre or at home with the help of a physiotherapist for about 2 to 4 weeks.
Certain rules of life and positioning of the leg must be respected, especially during the first few months to avoid dislocation of the prosthesis. This dislocation is much rarer when all the tissues around the prosthesis have healed, which needs 2 to 3 months. For example, car use should be avoided during the first few weeks after the operation.
Total hip replacement is an excellent procedure, with excellent results in more than 95% of cases, with complete or almost complete disappearance of pain.
On average, a total hip replacement has a lifespan of 20 years. It is very likely that the evolution of materials in recent years, as well as recent surgical techniques, will improve the longevity of these prostheses.
The 2 main complications are dislocation of the prosthesis and infection.
Your surgeon will give you any further explanation.
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