SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The first step when making a decision about hip replacement is to meet with your orthopaedic specialist to see if you are a candidate for total hip replacement surgery. Your provider will take your medical history, perform a physical examination, and X-ray your hip.
Even if the pain is significant, and the X-rays show advanced arthritis of the joint, the first line of treatment is nearly always non-operative. This includes weight loss if appropriate, an exercise regimen, medication, and injections. If the symptoms persist despite these measures, and with corroborating X-rays, then you may want to consider surgery.
The decision to move forward with surgery is not always straight forward and usually involves a thoughtful conversation involving you, your loved ones and, ultimately, your surgeon. The final decision rests with you based on the pain and disability from the arthritis influencing your qualify of life and daily activities.
Those who decide to proceed with surgery commonly report that their symptoms keep them from participating in activities that are important to them like walking, taking stairs, working, sleeping, putting on socks and shoes, or sitting for long periods of time. Surgery is the next option when non-operative treatments have failed.
One option to consider when undergoing hip replacement is computer-assisted surgery (CAS). Today, approximately 7% of all joint replacement surgeries are completed with the aid of computer navigation technology. Similar to the GPS in your car, these devices guide surgeons to precisely position the components of a hip or knee replacement. These tools can help surgeons decide what thickness of bone to remove and how to improve limb alignment. CAS enables the surgeon to customize each joint replacement operation down to the degree and millimeter. The computer can make calculations to give your surgeon immediate feedback for a well-balanced and properly aligned joint – and necessary for a long-lasting hip replacement.
At Connecticut Valley Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, we have been performing CAS hip replacements since 2005. If you would like to learn more about CAS hip arthroplasty, combined with minimally invasive surgical techniques and the use of state-of -the-art metal alloy and cross-linked polyethelene components, please contact us for an appointment with one of our orthopaedic specialists. For more information, go to www.cvosm.org.