Superpath hip replacement is a surgical technique performed to replace a diseased or arthritic hip joint. It has certain benefits over traditional hip replacement surgery as it uses a different approach to minimize tissue injury.
Anatomy of the Hip
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint where the head of the femur (thighbone) acts as the ball which fits comfortably into the acetabulum, the socket formed by the pelvic bones. The hip joint is held in place by muscles, tendons and large ligaments that provide stability and prevent dislocation.
Age-related wear and tear fall, trauma and arthritis are some of the common reasons for experiencing pain and discomfort in the hip joint.
Hip replacement surgery is usually recommended after conventional methods of treatment such as medications and physical therapy fail to provide relief. Hip replacement is typically recommended for:
- Severe pain and disability due to arthritis
- Hip fractures
- Hip bone deformities
- Superpath hip replacement is performed under general anesthesia. You will lie on your side for the procedure.
- A 2-3 cm incision is made on the side of your hip.
- Your surgeon retracts the buttock muscles and tendons to access the hip joint without cutting any soft tissues. Rarely, a tendon may need to be released for better access and is repaired at the end of the procedure.
- The femur is prepared to receive the femoral implant and the damaged femoral head is cut and removed. The acetabular socket is cleaned out removing any damaged cartilage. A dome-shaped acetabular implant is placed into the socket. The femoral head is replaced by the femoral implant resembling a ball on a stick which fits into the previously prepared neck and body of the femur.
- Once the acetabular and femoral implants are secured, they are put together to form your new hip joint. The stability and movement of the joint are then tested.
- After replacing the hip joint, your surgeon performs soft tissue repairs and then closes the skin incision.
- You will have some pain following surgery for which your surgeon will prescribe medications. You will be able to walk with assistance a few hours after the procedure and may be discharged once your doctor finds you are able to move comfortably.
- Recovery following Superpath hip replacement is usually quick as there is minimal soft tissue injury.
- With a standard hip replacement, you are instructed on certain activity restrictions such as avoiding bending at the hip too far or crossing your legs. You will not require these postoperative hip precautions as the replaced hip joint is quite stable with the Superpath technique.
Risks and Complications
Although Superpath hip replacement is usually a safe procedure, as with any surgical procedure it may be associated with certain risks such as:
- Increased post-operative pain
- Bleeding or blood clots
- Nerve damage
- Tissue injury
- Delayed wound healing
- Dislocation of the repaired joint
- Leg deformity