Unraveling the Journey of Hip Replacement: An In-depth Guide to Prosthesis, Surgery, and Post-Operative Care - Medical Pulse



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What is a hip prosthesis?

A hip prosthesis is a medical device used to replace a damaged or worn hip joint, usually due to osteoarthritis, femoral neck fractures, or other degenerative diseases. It aims to relieve pain and improve mobility in patients suffering from joint problems.

The components of a total hip prosthesis

A total hip prosthesis generally consists of the following elements:

  • Femoral head: it is a metal ball that replaces the natural head of the femur (the rounded top end).
  • Femoral stem: this long, thin metal piece is inserted into the hollow interior of the femur. It supports and stabilizes the new femoral head.
  • Cup: it is a hemisphere-shaped cup that replaces the natural acetabulum (the bony cavity in the pelvis). This part can be made of metal, ceramic or polyethylene (plastic).
  • Liner: This is a plastic or ceramic layer that is inserted into the acetabulum. It allows fluid movement between the femoral head and the acetabulum, thereby reducing wear and friction.
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Surgical intervention to install a hip prosthesis

The installation of a hip prosthesis is done under general or locoregional anesthesia (spinal anesthesia). The procedure lasts approximately 1 to 2 hours and generally takes place as follows:

  1. The surgeon makes an incision on the side or back of the thigh to access the hip joint.
  2. The muscles surrounding the joint are spread apart to expose the head of the femur and acetabulum.
  3. The head of the femur is removed, then the femoral stem with its new head is inserted into the hollow interior of the femur.
  4. The natural acetabulum is prepared to receive the new cup. The liner is then placed inside the latter.
  5. Once the components are correctly positioned, the muscles are put back into place and the incision is closed with sutures or staples.
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Ramsay Santé: leader in private health in France

Ramsay Santé is a leading group in the field of private health in France. It owns and operates a network of medical, surgical and post-acute care facilities, providing comprehensive care to patients. The group is recognized for its expertise in fields such as orthopedics, cardiology and oncology.

Post-operative care after installation of a hip prosthesis

After the procedure, the patient is usually hospitalized for 3 to 7 days. Post-operative care includes:

  • Pain management: Painkillers are prescribed to relieve pain in the operated hip.
  • Early mobilization: A physical therapist helps the patient perform specific exercises to strengthen the muscles around the new joint and promote rapid recovery.
  • Walking support: At first, the patient uses crutches or a walker to get around. Gradually, he learned to walk without assistance.
  • Medical monitoring : the surgeon regularly monitors the patient’s progress during post-operative consultations to ensure that everything is going well.
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Potential complications after hip replacement surgery

Certain complications can occur after hip prosthesis surgery. Among them :

  • Infection : an infection can develop around the denture, sometimes requiring antibiotic treatment or surgery to clean the area.
  • Dislocation: the femoral head can protrude from the acetabulum, causing joint dislocation. In some cases, it is necessary to manually readjust the joint or perform further surgery.
  • Phlebitis: Blood clots can form in the deep veins of the legs and lead to phlebitis. Anticoagulant treatment is often prescribed to prevent this complication.

To minimize risks and benefit from optimal care during hip surgery, it is essential to choose an experienced establishment and surgeon, such as those offered by Ramsay Santé.

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