When to implant a hip prosthesis and what are the benefits?

The hip prosthesis will be applied when the patient cannot lead a normal life due to problems and pain in the joint, and conservative treatment has not been effective. Dr. Patric Garcia, a specialist in traumatology, explains what innovative techniques are currently available and when the implantation of a prosthesis is recommended.

What exactly is a hip prosthesis?

The hip prosthesis is a surgical replacement of the natural hip joint. It consists of the implantation of a “stem” in the femur with a ceramic or metallic head and a cup with an insert in the pelvis that form the “new” joint.

When will conservative treatment no longer be considered “sufficient” and a prosthesis be required?

Most important would be the loss of quality of life. This includes pain and limitation of hip function. When someone stops doing things because of hip problems or if someone is frequently taking painkillers, it is time to talk to their orthopedic surgeon.

What innovative techniques are currently available, and what is the anterior approach?

Apart from the evolution of the material used to manufacture the prostheses, the innovations with the most impact for the patient have been in relation to the way the prosthesis is implanted. New approaches such as the AMIS technique allow the implantation of a prosthesis through the anterior approach. There are many minimally invasive approaches, but the anterior approach is the only one where there is really no need to cut muscle. This means a much faster recovery for the patient.

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Is it possible to avoid prosthesis rejection, and is this something that can be improved with customized prostheses?

Immunological rejection of a prosthesis is almost non-existent today. To improve integration and to avoid loosening of the prosthesis we have prosthesis systems with a wide variety of sizes, angles and materials and different combinations. With a calibrated X-ray we plan the perfect prosthesis for the individual patient on PC before surgery.

What benefits will the prosthesis bring to the patient, and from when will the patient be able to start moving and walking?

The greatest benefit is the restoration of pain-free joint function. We start with the mobilization of the patient on the same day of surgery. Most patients are able to leave the hospital after 2-5 days walking only with crutches.