Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Considering Hip Replacement

Tuesday, 22 March 2011 01:25 PM

Question: Would you have your hip resurfaced or have a full hip replacement?
Dr. Hibberd’s Answer:

Any procedure that will preserve your joint and return you to reasonable function without increasing your risk of complication should always be considered before a total joint replacement. I do favor remodeling joints over replacement if the expected results give you the quality of life you want.

An exception may be when the remodeling involves a partial replacement of your femoral head (the "ball" of the hip) because resection results with femoral head pinning or partial replacement alone are sometimes inferior to total hip replacement results. However, the risks of complication are higher with total hip replacement.

Most joint remodeling is done in a micro-invasive fashion via arthroscope. It is a lower risk procedure with less anesthesia, pain, and recovery time. Also with remodeling, the opportunity for complete replacement remains an option should the results not meet expectations.

Hip replacements are now very resilient and often last from 10 to 15 years, but may be worn out in half that time by an aggressive athlete. Hip replacements can and do dislocate if they are not perfectly located. Possible complications such as blood clots should be discussed with your surgeon. Ask to see results of his or her previous cases; some surgeons will allow you to talk with patients who faced decisions similar to yours.

Fully discuss your options with your orthopedic surgeon. Always ask what may go wrong and what the most common problems with recovery are. Before you make a decision, seek another opinion from an orthopedic surgeon not involved in your case. Your primary care physician can help you find one.

The results in orthopedic surgery vary depending on the joint involved, the condition being corrected, the patient’s age and underlying medical conditions, the surgeon’s experience and training, and an honest look at the patient’s objective. Is he or she a competitive athlete, weekend warrior, couch potato, or simply socially active? Sometimes we make decisions based on quality-of-life issues and we are willing to take a greater risk in return for improved quality of life.

© HealthDay

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