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What Is A Hemiarthroplasty?
Hemiarthroplasty is a surgical procedure performed to replace one half of a joint, specifically the articular surface of one bone, while preserving the other half of the joint. It is commonly used in cases of hip fractures or severe degenerative joint disease that primarily affects one side of the joint.
Here are some key points about hemiarthroplasty:
- Purpose: Hemiarthroplasty is most frequently performed in the hip joint. It involves replacing the femoral head (the ball-shaped end of the thighbone) with a prosthetic implant, while leaving the native acetabulum (socket of the hip joint) intact. The goal is to restore joint function, relieve pain, and improve mobility.
- Procedure: During a hip hemiarthroplasty, an incision is made in the hip area to access the fractured or damaged femoral head. The femoral head is then removed and replaced with a prosthetic implant, which may be made of metal or ceramic materials. The implant is securely fixed to the remaining healthy bone. The native acetabulum is left untouched, as it is generally still healthy and can provide a functional joint surface.
- Indications: Hemiarthroplasty is commonly performed in older individuals with displaced hip fractures, particularly those involving the femoral neck. It is also used in select cases of hip joint degeneration, such as avascular necrosis or severe osteoarthritis, when the damage is primarily confined to the femoral head and the acetabulum remains relatively healthy.
- Rehabilitation: Following a hip hemiarthroplasty, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is typically prescribed to promote healing, regain strength, and restore joint function. Physical therapy may include exercises to improve range of motion, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and regain walking ability. The specific rehabilitation protocol may vary depending on the individual’s condition and the surgeon’s recommendations.
- Considerations: Hemiarthroplasty is not suitable for all hip joint conditions. It is typically reserved for cases where the damage is limited to the femoral head and the acetabulum is still healthy. In some instances, such as younger individuals or those with more extensive joint damage, a total hip replacement may be a more appropriate treatment option.
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with hemiarthroplasty, such as infection, blood clots, implant dislocation, leg length discrepancy, and prosthetic wear over time. It is important to consult with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement procedures to determine the most suitable treatment approach based on your specific condition and individual circumstances.