You will be having your artificial hip joint implanted in the near future. We would therefore like to offer answers to some of the questions you may have.
Your new hip joint is one of the best researched medical technology products available. It is an exceptional high-tech device: state-of-the-art, intelligently designed, safe and, if well looked after, highly durable.
Over the past 60 years countless engineers have worked to continuously improve artificial hip joints. Consequently, there are very few medical technology products on the market today which are as advanced as an artificial hip joint, also known as a total hip replacement in the medical world. The design, material and production process all satisfy the highest of standards. Atraumatic surgical techniques ensure that you will be quite literally back on your feet soon after your operation.
If your hip joint disorder can no longer be treated using conventional methods, then you should consider a total hip prosthesis if
You decide together with your physician when the ideal time for a hip prosthesis has arrived. Your physician will make a diagnosis, taking all the examination results into consideration, and will provide you with expert advice. Trust your physician: he knows when the operation makes sense from a medical perspective to alleviate your pain and thus improve your quality of life.
Osteoarthritis: For example due to wear or rheumatism. The cartilage in the acetabular cup or on the femoral head wears down more and more over time. As a result, the femoral head slides less well in the acetabular cup and is less well cushioned. In extreme cases this can be very painful.
Femoral neck fracture: The bone in the region of the femoral head or neck is fractured in an accident.
Hip dysplasia: The roof of the natural acetabular cup is missing. This results in malalignment of the hip joint and, over the years, osteoarthritis.
Necrosis of the femoral head: The blood supply to the femoral head is either partially or completely interrupted. As a consequence, it loses its round smooth shape and can no longer move in the joint without causing pain.
The hip joint is the second biggest joint in the human body, after the knee joint. It comprises the femoral neck, the femoral head and the acetabular cup.
The hip joint is extremely strong. Over the course of a lifetime, it has to withstand enormous loads and perform countless movements. Some hip joints are more susceptible to these loads than others, and therefore degenerate more quickly.
Artificial hip joints are classified according to the prosthesis stem length (short/long) and type of implantation (cemented/cementless). Every implant has particular properties and is suitable for specific patients
With cementless hip prostheses, the prosthesis stem is anchored in the femur without bone cement. The acetabular cup is screwed or pressed directly into the pelvic bone.
Both components, acetabular cup and femoral stem, have a rough surface or a special coating which promotes rapid bone ingrowth.
Surgeons perform hip joint operations with instruments designed specially for the particular hip prosthesis, so usually only small skin incisions are necessary, the hip muscles and bones are conserved and patients are then back on their feet quicker following the operation. You too can play a role in ensuring that your operation is a success:
You will normally be able to stand up for the first time on the day after the operation. However, you still need to be very careful, so your physician will tell you which movements you should avoid and whether you should use crutches.
Rehab at a clinic or an out-patient center begins a few days after the operation. Training will make your hip muscles stronger each day, and this will help to stabilize your artificial joint. The majority of patients can walk pain-free and without crutches a few weeks after the operation.
High-quality hip prostheses have an average lifetime of 15 years. But there are patients who have had the same artificial hip for 25 years and longer. In order to ensure the longest possible lifetime of your prosthesis, it is particularly important that you take a number of precautions, always follow your physician's advice and consult him immediately in the event of any problems.