Normally, the hip joint consists of a ball and socket, the former being the top of the femoral head (the thigh bone). The latter is made of cartilage and bone. When some or all parts of the joint get damaged, it needs to be replaced with an artificial prosthesis, which can be cemented or uncemented.
The difference is that one is mounted to the hip using bone cement (Plexiglas), which ensures faster adhesion and smaller recovery, and the other is textured in such a way that the bone can attach to it over time as it grows. Of course, this means that the healing process is longer.
Most surgeons avoid the cemented option because it can wear and tear faster, causing the joint to come loose and requiring another replacement. Not to mention, the debris left by the material can irritate the nearby tissue or even enter the bloodstream, an act that can be life-threatening, especially if the cement gets to the lungs.
Your new hip will be composed of different parts, each of which plays a different role:
- A metal socket
- A metal rod that will keep the thigh stable
- A ceramic or metal ball that will take the place of the femoral head
- A liner that will enable the ball to move effortlessly inside the socket
No matter which adhesion method you and your doctor choose, the hip will always be made of these segments.
It comprises of the acetabular component, femoral stem and the articulating surfaces. The longevity of the implants can further improve with advanced surface technologies such as Ceramic (Biolox®)/highly cross-linked polyethylene.
The accuracy of total hip replacement in Singapore can be further improved with Robotic Surgery (Makoplasty®) .
Patients opting for this technique will undergo a pre-op CT scan of the lower limb, all the important parameters in the lower limb will then be captured and entered into the computer. Next, these data will be merged with the real-life anatomical landmarks of the patient on the surgical table, and the surgeon can use this robotic arm to perform the intervention to pin point accuracy.
Depending on whether you go for a cemented or an uncemented joint, artificial hip replacement is a surgical procedure that requires you to take weeks off of work. You need to recognise the fact that you will not be able to perform the things that you typically do. That includes reaching for stuff that is above or below your height range, lifting heavy objects, walking long distances, going up and down the stairs, and even taking a shower, to name a few.
This is why it is important to prepare yourself a few days in advance, providing that the surgery is planned of course. Make sure to place everyday items in areas where you don’t have to overexert yourself to reach. Prepare some meals and toss them in the freezer ahead of time so that when you get back home after the operation you don’t have to worry about food. If you live on your own, find someone who can drive you to your physical therapy sessions (there will be some) and pick you up after you are done.