Advances in total hip replacement

Posted on 23 Mar 2022

Dr Hennie Bosch, an orthopaedic surgeon at Mediclinic Durbanville, shares recent advancements in hip replacement surgery and explains when it’s recommended.

Dr Hennie Bosch sets high professional standards for himself – his goal being to achieve a 100% patient satisfaction rate. The perfect total hip replacement, he explains, meets these criteria: the patient suffers little morbidity; recovers quickly; is implanted perfectly; and has no complications. In addition, the implant must be affordable and should last a lifetime.

Specialists usually recommend replacement surgery if you’ve had a hip fracture or are experiencing severe hip pain caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. In some cases, degeneration of the hip joint may be the cause of infection or hip deformity.

Replacing the hip joint with an implant, or prosthesis, relieves pain and improves mobility, enabling you to resume normal, everyday activities.

Prior to surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will consider:

  • severity of symptoms
  • age
  • overall health/pre-existing conditions
  • heart health
  • response to previous treatment
  • mobility
  • nutrition status (e.g., diabetes management).

One of three possible surgical techniques are used to access the hip joint:

  1. Anterior (front)
  2. Lateral (side)
  3. Posterior (back)


Anterior approach

The latest technique for hip replacement surgery is the anterior approach that uses an incision at the front of the hip, Dr Bosch says. But it’s still crucial to choose the right surgical approach for the individual patient, he adds. During hip replacement surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will remove the diseased or damaged parts of your hip joint and insert the artificial joint.

The combination of less invasive surgery and technological advancements that make artificial joints more stable and durable aids quicker postoperative recovery and better outcomes.

It’s important to be aware that even minimally invasive surgery carries a risk of complications, as do all surgeries. These may include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Dislocations
  • Injury to nearby nerves.


Post-op rehabilitation

Physical rehabilitation is a critical component of recovery. Your surgeon and physiotherapist will provide you with specific exercises to help increase range of motion and restore strength. The treatment plan usually involves monitoring of strength and flexibility in your leg and hip, as well as your ability to stand and sit.

Most hip replacement patients are able to walk the same day of or next day after surgery and resume normal routine activities within the first 3-6 weeks of their total hip replacement recovery


Benefits of hip replacement

Relief from pain, improvements in movements and strength are some of the main benefits of hip replacement surgery. Industry data shows that more than 90% of patients will not need further treatment in the 10 years following a total hip replacement. After that time you may require further treatment if you experience loosening and wear caused by a combination of normal mechanical and biological processes.

It’s recommended that patients consult their orthopaedic surgeon if pain, instability or other symptoms develop, or annually from 10-15 years post hip replacement surgery.  Recently developed arthroplasty templating software allows doctors to monitor joint wear and tear. Dr Bosch offers the latest digital monitoring software and depending on the prognosis, may consider less invasive procedures instead of revision surgery.


Your Care Expert plan

Mediclinic’s Care Expert plan is an integrated hip and knee arthroplasty package that provides patients with:

  • financial certainty and consistent value
  • a measured, enhanced patient experience while receiving outcomes-measured quality care.

Your Care Expert plan is coordinated by a dedicated Care Expert Navigator, whose role is to:

  • ensure continuity of care during your hospitalisation
  • follow your progress from initial consultation with the specialist until well after discharge
  • track care outcomes.


Published in Business