What are the different types of hip surgery?

An X-ray of the pelvic area, showing a metal replacement hip.

Surgery involving the hips is often helpful when it comes to restoring mobility as well as relieving pain. Surgery may be necessary to correct some sort of physical defect that has developed, or to repair damage sustained due to some sort of accident. There are several different types of hip surgery commonly employed today, ranging from repair to complete hip replacement.

Hip surgery is usually aimed at relieving pain and restoring mobility.

Some forms of hip surgery aim to repair fractures somewhere in the hip bone. Fixation and hip fixation are two examples. With hip pinning, the aim is to surgically insert screws into the femoral head and then secure them to a corresponding plate that is positioned on the femoral shaft. The plate is secured with a series of smaller screws. Once the connection is made, the fracture is locked in place, allowing the bone to heal.

The type of hip surgery performed depends on the needs of each patient.

With hip fixation, the idea is to treat a fracture or break that occurred in the exact position where the femoral head and femoral neck meet. As with hip pinning, this form of hip surgery uses screws to immobilize the fracture and facilitate the healing process. Care must be taken with this procedure as there is some chance of interfering with blood flow to the femur.

Hip replacement surgery is usually needed when the cartilage inside the joint deteriorates, causing painful and severely debilitating arthritis.

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There are also different types of hip replacement surgery in common use today. Hemiarthroplasty is a procedure used when the femoral head is so damaged that it cannot be repaired. The damaged head is removed and a prosthesis is implanted. Assuming the hip socket is in good condition, the patient has a good chance of regaining a full range of motion once the recovery period is complete.

A complete hip replacement would involve removing several damaged areas and replacing those areas with prostheses. Hip surgery of this type is considered radical and is usually performed only when there is no chance that other methods will effectively correct the problem. Hip replacement of this type will include not only replacement of the femoral head, but also replacement of the socket and possibly the femoral neck.

It is important to note that before a hip surgery such as arthroplasty or hemiarthroplasty is performed, an investigative procedure known as a hip arthroscopy is performed. This procedure involves cushioning the area around the hip and then inserting a small needle equipped with imaging equipment that allows the surgeon to assess the degree of damage before the actual surgery is performed. Hip arthroscopy allows you to accurately determine the scope of surgery needed, saving you a lot of time after the actual surgery is underway.

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