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Benefits of Hip Preservation Versus Hip Replacement

Benefits of Hip Preservation Versus Hip Replacement

Our world has moved to a more disposable one in which we use and toss with alarming frequency, from our toothbrushes to our contact lenses. While these other items are convenient, we don’t feel that your joints should be included in this shift.

The in-house hip specialist here at Western Orthopaedics, Dr. Brian White, has devoted his career to resolving hip problems. Thanks to advanced surgical techniques, these efforts focus on preservation rather than replacement.

Here’s a look at why preserving major joints like your hips is so beneficial.

A growing problem

The numbers surrounding joint issues in the United States are eye-opening. Currently, about 58.5 million adults have been diagnosed with arthritis and this number is expected to jump to barely 78.5 million by 2040.

While there are many different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is far and away the most common, and it’s the primary culprit behind hip arthritis. It’s also the main driver for hip replacement surgery, a procedure that’s growing in lockstep with increasing arthritis numbers. To wit, about 330,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed each year and this number is expected to jump to 850,000 by 2030.

We recognize the growing problem when it comes to hips, but we want to underscore that hip replacement isn’t the only, nor necessarily the best, option.

Understanding hip preservation

Thanks to hip arthroscopy, a technique in which we use a specialized camera and instruments, Dr. White performs complex tasks in small spaces. More specifically, he is a leading expert in the following procedures:

Labral reconstruction

Your labrum is a piece of tough tissue that surrounds the socket of your hip, forming a seal that holds your thigh bone in place. If you tear or damage this tissue, Dr. White can repair the damage or reconstruct the tissue to restore pain-free function in your hip.

Ganz osteotomy

Dr. White also excels in the Ganz osteotomy, a procedure that reshapes the ball and repositions the socket in your hip to remedy hip dysplasia.

Ligamentum teres

If you have an unstable hip, Dr. White performs a ligamentum teres procedure in which he creates a new ligament to support your hip and keep the ball centered in the socket.

These are very simple explanations of complicated hip preservation techniques, but we wanted to give you a broad idea of all that we can accomplish when it comes to saving your hip joint.

The benefits of hip preservation over replacement

There are many benefits to taking a preservation approach to your joint health, starting with the fact that nothing beats the original. Through hip preservation, our goal is to preserve the hip that’s tailored to your body and needs.

We admit that when you undergo a hip replacement surgery, you can count on fairly good success rates when it comes to relieving pain (up to 90%). That said, you may encounter some postsurgical limitations.

The Arthritis Foundation reports that about 30% of hip replacement patients do encounter issues with certain activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of the car.

Our goal through hip preservation is to restore your hip without limitations.

Another benefit of hip preservation over replacement is avoiding revision surgery. For patients who replace a hip joint between the ages of 65 and 69, lifetime risk of revision is approximately 15% for men and 10% for women.

Another point in favor of hip preservation is that it works best for younger patients. Hip replacement does work well, but their lifespans are limited. If you’re in your 40s or 50s, hip preservation makes more sense.

We want to point out that there are times when replacement is the best option, especially if there isn’t enough cartilage in the joint. In these cases, Dr. White can perform the hip replacement.

Still, it’s worth figuring out before you jump to replacement whether your hip can be saved through preservation. 

To learn more, contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to schedule a consultation with Dr. White.

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