Hip prostheses - Dr. Michael Lehmann
Artificial hip joints
The implantation of an artificial hip joint is routine surgery nowadays. In Germany alone, around 200,000 people receive a hip replacement each year, allowing many patients with osteoarthritis to return to a near-normal life. Just how successful the treatment is in each case depends largely on the surgeon's skill and the choice of implant or material.
How is a hip operation performed?
In recent years, surgical techniques have been refined more and more so that the procedures are now often much less damaging to soft tissues thanks to minimally invasive surgery. The advantages of minimally invasive hip surgery for the patient are clear: after the operation, there is less pain and the rehabilitation phase can be significantly shortened. This allows a faster return to everyday activities.
Alongside a total prosthesis, one alternative suitable in some cases is simple surface replacement, in which the femoral head is enclosed in an artificial cap (crowning) and not removed completely, as is the case with a total hip replacement. One advantage of this is that the cap does not greatly influence the anatomical relationships within the joint, which means that patients do not need to learn a new gait, as is sometimes the case with a total prosthesis.
This type of "crowning" of the femoral head is a much more challenging and potentially more complex surgical procedure than the implantation of a total prosthesis. The operation should therefore only be carried out by suitably experienced hip surgeons.
How long does a hip prosthesis last?
In recent years numerous new hip prostheses have been developed, some of which use extremely low-wear materials, in order to increase prostheses' useful lives. The most suitable model for each individual case should be determined where possible by a skilled hip specialist.