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St. Lucie Medical Center
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St. Lucie Medical Center Emergency Room at Darwin Square
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Hip Problems

If your hip pain does not respond adequately to conservative treatments, we may suggest you consider hip replacement surgery. This is one of the safest and most successful types of major surgery and one in which we have significant experience. In hip replacement, the diseased joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint. We will help you weigh the potential benefits and risks of your surgical options and recommend which of three techniques is likely to work best for you.

Contending with Hip Pain

Pain in the hip can be debilitating, making it difficult to walk, climb stairs, or even pick up an object from the floor. It can limit your freedom of movement and ability to function independently. While hip pain can be caused by deformity or by direct injury, like trauma or a sports injury, the most common cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). Depending on factors including age, weight, joint function and activity, patients with arthritis find the hip’s cartilage lining wears away over time. That means bones rub against each other, resulting in friction, swelling, pain, stiffness, and instability.

How Hips Work

A joint is formed by the ends of two or more bones that are connected by thick tissues. For example, your hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, formed by the ball, or femoral head, at the upper end of the thighbone, and the rounded socket, or acetabulum, in the pelvis. The bone ends of a joint are covered with a smooth, tough material called cartilage. Normal cartilage cushions the bones and allows nearly frictionless and pain-free movement. The rest of the surfaces of the joint are covered by a thin, smooth tissue lining called the synovium. The synovium produces fluid that acts as a lubricant to reduce friction and wear in the joint.

What is Hip Replacement?

Hip replacement involves replacing the femur (head of the thigh bone) and the acetabulum (hip socket). Typically, the artificial ball with its stem is made of a strong metal or ceramic, and the artificial socket is made of polyethylene (a durable, wear-resistant plastic) or metal backed with a plastic liner. The artificial joint may be cemented in position or held securely in the bone without cement.

What is MIS Hip Replacement?

Exciting News: Minimally Invasive Surgery for Total Hip Replacement

Stryker has partnered with orthopaedic surgeons world-wide to develop surgical techniques, implants and instruments that adapt the latest advances in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for total hip replacement.

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a general term used to describe a surgical procedure that uses one or more smaller incision(s) than conventional surgery. In some MIS procedures, the amount of soft tissue (muscles and tendons, etc.) that are disrupted during surgery may also be reduced.

MIS Hip Joint Replacement is a step forward in hip replacement because it may provide a number of potential benefits, which may include: a smaller scar, because of the smaller incision; a potentially faster recovery, because of less tissue disruption; and possibly less blood loss.

Results often vary from patient to patient. Not all patients may realize the potential benefits from these relatively new procedures. The risks that are identified for patients undergoing a conventional hip joint replacement, still remain.

Only your orthopaedic surgeon can properly evaluate whether you are a candidate for an MIS hip joint replacement procedure. Risk factors relating to your anatomy, weight, prior joint replacements and personal health issues should be addressed with your orthopaedic surgeon of choice. The long-term benefits, as well as the short-term benefits, of an MIS hip joint replacement should always be discussed.

Here are a few questions you should consider asking your Orthopaedic Surgeon about MIS hip joint replacement:

  • Is hip replacement surgery my only option?
  • Is joint replacement right for me?
  • Is MIS hip replacement surgery a realistic option for me?
  • What are the potential risks and benefits of this MIS surgical technique?
  • How long have you been performing MIS hip joint replacements?
  • Have you had any specialized training in performing this technique?
  • How many MIS procedures have you performed?
  • What should em realistically expect my recovery to be like?