Hip Surgery For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not a selective disease. This indicates that RA can occur in any joint in the body, destroying it and causing pain and bringing disability to the patient. RA usually attack joints that are located in the upper groin region but is not limited to that only. In the initial stages, any form of strenuous activities such as jogging, running or even carrying a heavy object can aggravate the pain. As it slowly progresses, it will start to affect the quality of sleep and lead to patients being disorientated. Hip surgery is one of the most effective treatment methods of RA and we will look into it in this article.

Total hip replacement (THR) is the most common form of surgical treatment for RA with the other being hip resurfacing. In THR, there are three different components for the implant; the stem, ball and socket. The stem will fit itself into the femur while the ball will replace the spherical head of the femur and finally the cup will replace the worn out hip socket. The materials used for the implant have specifically been chosen for the biocompatibility properties. This means that they will not react with the body fluids and chemicals and ultimately causing an undesired immune response from the host body. The materials are also resistant to corrosion and are long-lasting in the region of a decade or more. The mechanical properties are as good as or even better than the natural components of the hip.

THR will be performed in a sterile operating theatre that is free of bacteria in order to prevent infection. Patients will be given a general anesthesia jab, which will cause them to fall asleep throughout the surgery. An incision will be made along the side of the hips and can be as long as 25cm. However, this incision will not be visible as the clothes will be able to cover it decently. The diseased joint will be removed with a surgical saw and the bone will be cleaned and prep for the arrival of the new prosthesis. There will be proper drainage systems to remove blood from the region and when everything is over, sutures will be used to close up the incision.

As with all forms of surgery, there are risks involved. There will always be a slight chance of the formation of a blood clot and infection despite sterilizing the operating theatre.

What Are The Advantages Of Minimally Invasive Surgery For Hip Replacement?

Medical technology is constantly evolving for the better. There are better and faster diagnostic equipments, robots to assist in surgery and safer anaesthesia techniques. With these advances in technology, surgery now is a lot lower in risk, shorter recovery time and less discomfort for patients. One of the greatest surgical development is the usage of minimally invasive surgery. In this article, we will be talking about the advantages of minimally invasive surgery for hip replacement.

During a minimally invasive surgery procedure, tiny incisions instead of large openings are made. Due to its extremely small nature, the risk of infections is much lower and recovery time is significantly reduced. Patients will also feel less discomfort compared to traditional surgery procedures with no strings attached. In order to qualify as a minimally invasive surgery, incisions no more than 4 inches can be made.

In traditional open hip replacement surgery, surgeons will have to make a 12 inch incision at the thigh area which cuts through the tendons and muscles in order to reach the hip joint. This will not only cause trauma to the area but also large amounts of blood loss. Not only that, the hip must be dislocated by physical means and this will cause tissue damages to the surrounding tissues as well. Through minimally invasive hip replacement surgery called the MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement procedure, 2 small incisions are made over at the buttock and groin. This will allow access to the femur and socket with little to none trauma on the tissues and leaving the muscles untouched. Through the tiny incisions, robotic arms will place the prosthetics precisely between muscles, eliminating the chances of misalignment.

Patients can get out of their bed in as little as a few hours post surgery as compared to days when open surgery is performed. This will cut down the hospital stay to an average of 2 days as compared to 4 days, saving the patient hefty medical bills. Patients will also be able to start their physical therapy faster, reducing the recovery time. Most importantly, the patient will feel significantly less pain and discomfort.

Despite the many advantages of minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, it is not meant for everyone. Patients who are obese or have existing bone problems such as osteoporosis are not recommend. Minimally invasive surgery is also a complex procedure and hours of fine tuning in skills is required.

How Do I Know If I Need Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is not something that everyone needs. However due to certain medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, hip replacement surgery may be the only way to get back a good quality of life. The choice is still ultimately up to you on whether to undergo hip replacement surgery or to take pain relief medication to tide you through. Let’s discuss on how you know if you really need surgery.

Unbearable pain and stiff hips

When pain gets unbearable and hips are always stiff, simple actions such as climbing the stairs, walking and even standing can be extremely difficult. Pain relief medication can only help you to overcome pain for certain duration and cannot be used forever. Therefore, when your osteoarthritis is this bad, hip replacement surgery is the only option available for you in order to get back a good quality life.

Bone damages

Due to osteoarthritis, bones are damaged and the bones are unable to regenerate and grow again. The joint cartilages are also disintegrated and no form of medication or physical therapy can help to repair it. When damages to the bone happen, hip replacement surgery will be required to repair it.

Alternative treatments failed

Surgery will usually be the last option that your surgeon will consider. Usually, he will prescribe you pain relief medication followed by physical therapy in order to help you regain flexibility in your joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles. However when all these treatments fail, surgery will be the only option left.

Conditions with no known cure

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joint mistakenly instead of protecting it. The body does not recognise it as its own and treats it as something foreign and will continuously attack it until it is no longer there. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis yet and patients who suffer from it must undergo hip replacement surgery in order to recover.

Above are 4 common scenarios where a hip replacement surgery needs to be considered. There are many factors that must be considered prior to surgery such as the age of the patient, overall health condition and bone density. Attempts to try alternatives to surgery such as medication and physical therapy will be made before suggesting surgery. Hip replacement surgery is a major and costly procedure and careful thought must be made before a final decision is made.