Hip replacement problems
Hip replacement problems
In this article, Danielle Steilen, MMS, PA-C explains potential hip replacement problems and Prolotherapy as an alternative treatment.
Recently I got a chance to observe a total hip replacement. A local orthopedic surgeon was kind enough to let me watch as he replaced the hip in a middle aged man. As you can imagine, that was quite an experience – one that I will not soon forget. Many lessons were learned by what I observed that day – most of which I already knew, but they were confirmed by seeing the surgery for myself – up close and personal!
What really goes on during hip replacement surgery
While I am usually not a “blood and guts” kind of person (the blood I don’t mind so much, it’s the guts that get me) I couldn’t pass up this incredible opportunity!
So I found myself standing in the operating room watching as the surgeon made a deep incision into the patient’s anterior (front) hip. I waited as he made the incision and then began to dig and cut, dig and cut until he stood straight with an object in his hand. He turned slightly, tossed it onto the table, and got back to work. I got to take a look and there is was – the head of the femur! I watched as the femoral head rolled back and forth slightly on the table and turned my attention back to the surgeon.
Once he had gotten the femoral head out of the way, he began to smooth out the acetabulum (the socket of the hip joint). He used a concave tool (as it is a concave surface) to smooth out the bone and remove any remaining cartilage, labral tissue, and bone spurs. The tool, in its simplest terms, looked like a large cheese grater. He used it until it became full with tissue, then he would swap it out for a clean one and repeat the process over again. Once the acetabulum was completely smooth, he was able to put a plastic lining over the acetabulum and attach a new, plastic head to the femur that would fit inside it. Once it was determined that everything fit together nicely at the same level as the other hip, the incision was closed and surgery was completed.
Hip replacement problems and pain after the surgery
The point of this article is not to inflict fear in anyone that has an upcoming hip replacement scheduled, but to make the point that not once in the surgery were the ligaments or tendons addressed, which in reality would have been an alternative to hip replacement surgery. Even with the hip replacement, there was still a lot of shaving and slicing on the healthy structures surrounding the joint. It’s no wonder that many people have hip replacement problems and pain after the surgery! All of these structures that hold the joint together have become stretched, shaved, and manipulated, leaving the person typically with a very loose joint (which could have been the problem in the first place too!)
Alternative treatment options when surgery fails to relieve the pain
So what treatment options are available to those that still have chronic pain after joint replacement surgery? If physical therapy and other conservative measures have failed, Prolotherapy after joint replacement surgery may be the answer. Prolotherapy is a specialized medical injection technique that addresses the ligaments and tendons surrounding the joint, getting at the root cause of the problem: joint instability. Any joint can become unstable when the ligaments that surround it are unable to hold the bones in proper position. This can cause excess movement of the bones, which then causes excess wear and tear on the surrounding tissues (i.e. cartilage, labrum, meniscus, ligaments, or tendons). If left untreated, joint instability can accelerate the arthritic process and lead to chronic pain, immobility, bone spurs, and/or total joint replacements. Comprehensive Prolotherapy treatments to unstable joints help to strengthen weakened or injured tissues, further stabilizing the joint and alleviating pain (without removing any parts of the femur!).
If you are one of the thousands of people experiencing chronic pain after a joint replacement surgery, we encourage you to consider Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, or Stem Cell Prolotherapy (Stem Cell Therapy). We commonly treat patients with pain after surgery. Our medical staff would love to talk with you about your particular case to determine if you may be a candidate for Prolotherapy at Caring Medical. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 708-848-7789. We’re waiting to hear from you and to help you get rid of your hip pain for good!