Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine



My mother had a total hip replacement when she was 85-years old. That was 25 years ago. Now, at age 65, I find myself in need of a hip replacement. What’s changed in the last 25 years?


What hasn’t changed is a better question?! Let’s start with the joint implant itself. The implants come in many different sizes. Each patient’s hip is measured and evaluated carefully before the doctor selects the right replacement joint. The material has changed from stainless steel to titanium or polyethylene (a type of plastic). The new implants are stronger, harder, and less likely to break or come loose. New tools have changed the way doctors remove the old joint and replace it with the implant. In some cases, the doctor can use an arthroscope to see inside the joint. This tool has a tiny TV camera on the end and allows the doctor to pass small surgical instruments through the opening. Only a small incision is made with this method compared to the large cut used years ago. Length-of-stay in the hospital and rehab programs have changed, too. The patient gets home and follows a home program sooner than ever before. Seneki Kobayashi, MD, PhD, et al. Total Hip Arthroplasty with Bulk Femoral Head Autograft for Acetabular Reconstruction in Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. April 2003. Vol. 85-A. No. 4. Pp. 615-621.

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