New Hip Replacement Procedure Brings Full Mobility To Patients

Dr. Sanjay Agarwala, Chief - Surgery, Head - Orthopaedics & Traumatology, P.D. Hinduja National Hospital & Medical Research CentreA gold medalist in MBBS as well as in MS (Orth) from the University of Bombay, Dr. Sanjay obtained his M.Ch in Orthopaedic Surgery from the University of Liverpool, U.K., and specializes in Total Hip & Knee Replacement, Trauma & Fracture Fixation, High Tibial Osteotomy, Micro Lumbar Discectomy, and many other areas.

Hip pain from arthritis is one of the common conditions seen not just among elderly population, but with certain lifestyle choices such as lack of physical exercise, long and stressful working hours, the disease is affecting the younger generation of the country as well. Arthritis, a progressive disorder, typically starts gradually and gets worse with time. Such patients who often find difficulty in walking feel stiffness, or pain ranging from sharp pain to dull ache in hips.

To describe it in simple terms, Arthritis occurs when the joint space of your hip is narrowed and the soft tissues surrounding it starts to shrink and tighten. The condition may arise due to genetic or hereditary reasons and certain other conditions like wear & tear of joints over time or due to tough training regime, or being obese as well.

If we examine the make-up of our hip joint, it is a ball & socket joint and is very mobile. During arthritis, when we stretch and move, the hip joint hurts, and over time leads to greater stiffness and worsening of the condition that alleviates pain. Thus, it explains why the hip is one of the most common joints affected by arthritis.

Why is young population vulnerable to joint problems?

Though joint related ailments have always been an issue related to aging, for a variety of reasons including poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, consumption of body building supplements and steroids in excessive quantities, younger patients have been diagnosed with joint related ailments. There is a sudden rise among the

youngsters regarding the usage of body building supplements and steroids, and that is leading to various types of joint related ailments.

Apart from a poor and unhealthy lifestyle, this is one of the major health problems emerging among the Indian youngsters. Excessive usage of such supplements prevents the adequate blood flow to the bones in the joints, causing the breakdown of the bone cells. In majority of the conditions, the majorly affected is the hip joint. The ball of the hip joint gradually loses its blood supply and starts shrinking, leading to decline in its shape and smoothness. Such conditions if not treated in time can lead to chronic pain and difficulty in walking.

Excessive usage of supplements prevents the adequate blood flow to the bones in the joints, causing the breakdown of the bone cells

There are different types of arthritis that can affect the hip, and its treatment is based on factors such as the type of arthritis, how early the condition is diagnosed, age of the patient, medical history (if any), and others. Advancements in the medical field have largely succeeded in providing relief to patients on many counts. However, the recipients of hip replacement surgery have not been enjoying life due to restricted activity and the inherent risk of dislocation of the artificial hip joint. That is now passé. A much better alternative to the existing techniques has arrived.

‘DUROM’ is an advanced and effective total hip replacement operation for treating diseased hip joints. Much superior to the conventional hip replacement operation, in this, there is minimal bone removal surgery with metalon-metal replacement components, allows faster recovery of patients, and provides greater mobility, unlike conventional operation. In short, the quality of life of the patient increases substantially after this surgery. Only the surfaces that are affected by the disease are resurfaced and not the entire hip, which results in bone stock preservation, making it an ideal option for younger patients who outlive their first arthroplasty operation and often require a second surgery.

The metal-on-metal total hip prostheses have been introduced as an alternative bearing system to metal on polyethylene. The metal-on-metal total hip joints have bearing surfaces and usually have ball components with larger diameter. The advantage of such large diameter construction is that such total hip joint has lower risk of dislocation.

As against the conventional hip replacement surgery, this surgery is suitable for young and active patients also. One of the major advantages of this advanced surgery is that it is especially suitable for Indian conditions, like the sitting cross legged, squatting, or even using the Indian style washrooms. Also, the activity of the patient is not restricted after surgery, as there is hardly any risk of dislocation. It is safe for patients to indulge in full sporting activities such as Judo and Squash without risking dislocation. With an overall 99 percent success rate, the surgery has a longer implant life time, more than 10 years. This is especially due to the proprietary metal components used that have low wear rates.