Studies show that 10% of the general population experiences chronic hip pain. If you are among the millions suffering from hip pain, you know the toll it can take on your mobility, function, and overall quality of life.
When conservative treatments don’t alleviate the pain, a hip arthroplasty (a total hip replacement) can reduce the pain and improve your mobility.
Hip arthroplasty is a safe and widely performed procedure, but undergoing any surgery is a big decision. It’s important to research and understand all your options before choosing a treatment.
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is the Midwest’s premier provider of orthopedic care. As the largest orthopedic practice in Kansas City, we perform hundreds of hip replacements each year across our 6 locations—Overland Park, Merriam, Leawood, Belton, Kansas City, and Blue Springs. Using the latest technology, our physicians can evaluate, diagnose, and treat nearly any type of hip pain.
If you’ve been referred for or are otherwise considering a hip arthroplasty in South KC, it’s important to talk with your orthopedic doctor about your specific concerns and symptoms. To help you on your journey to a pain-free life, this blog will share everything you should know about hip arthroplasty.
Anatomy of the hip
First, let’s review the basic structure of the hip. The hip is a ball-in-socket joint, which allows for rotational movements. In the hip joint, the ball-like shape at the top of the femur (thighbone) fits into the socket of the pelvic bone.
The femur and pelvis are just part of the equation. Cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles all work together for maximum functionality and movement of the hip joint.
When any part of the hip joint is damaged or worn, it can cause significant pain and limit your mobility. Based on the type and severity of the damage, hip surgery might be your only option for long-term relief.
Types of hip surgeries
Several surgeries can treat hip pain, but it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. We’ll discuss four types of hip procedures—hip arthroplasty, hemiarthroplasty, hip arthroscopy, and hip resurfacing—to help you decide if a total hip replacement is right for you.
Hip Arthroplasty (total hip replacement)
Over 450,000 total hip replacements occur every year, making it one of the most common orthopedic surgeries. In a total hip replacement, we remove the damaged bone and cartilage of the hip joint and replace it with a prosthesis. Prostheses usually have a combination of plastic and metal to function smoothly as a hip joint. Total hip replacement involves replacing the entire hip–both the ball and socket.
Hemiarthroplasty (partial hip replacement)
For adults over the age of 65, we perform hip hemiarthroplasty to treat hip fractures. This is sometimes necessary when an older patients fall and breaks their hip. These partial hip replacements can help individuals walk again after breaking their hip.
While a total hip replacement removes and replaces both the ball and socket of the hip joint, a partial hip replacement only replaces the ball of the joint.
Hip arthroscopy (hip preservation)
Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can diagnose and potentially treat the cause of your hip pain. During hip arthroscopy, we make small incisions near the hip and insert a small camera on a narrow tube. This allows the operating team to visualize the hip joint and identify the damage. If possible, the surgeon will treat and repair the injury during
Patients with hip arthritis are not candidates for this treatment. It is best for younger patients and athletes with hip impingement. Hip impingement is a condition where the ball and socket of the hip don’t work together smoothly. This can lead to cartilage damage or a hip labral tear.
Hip resurfacing is a procedure primarily for younger and more active patients. Instead of replacing the ball and socket (like in a total hip replacement,) hip resurfacing trims the ball at the top of the thigh bone (femur) and caps it with a smooth metal prosthesis.
Hip resurfacing is best for patients with larger frames (usually males) with healthy and strong bones that can support the metal cap.
When is a hip arthroplasty necessary?
Patients often come to our clinic asking, “Do I need a hip replacement?” Our physicians always prefer non-surgical and conservative treatments when possible, but when nothing helps the pain, a hip arthroplasty may be necessary.
Patients who require a total hip replacement usually have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Groin pain when sitting or walking
- Hip pain or tightness with physical activity
- Inability to stand up normally
- Pain along the side of the thigh and/or buttocks
- Swelling in the hip or groin area
- Difficulty laying on or sleeping on your hip
During the assessment, your provider will start with a physical exam to determine the origin and severity of your pain. Based on these results, further diagnostic testing (such as an X-Ray or MRI) might be necessary. We will use this information to determine your diagnosis.
After we fully understand what’s causing your pain, we’ll create a personalized plan to treat your injury. We usually start with conservative approaches, including physical therapy, injections, medications, and regenerative medicine.
We will discuss hip replacement if and when the non-invasive treatments don’t alleviate your pain.
Approaches to total hip replacement surgery
If you and your doctor determine hip arthroplasty is the best treatment for your pain, the next step is to decide which surgeon will perform your procedure. There are two main approaches to total hip replacement — anterior and posterior. Recently, robotic-assisted total hip replacement has been developed. Every surgeon has different preferences and recommendations when it comes to these approaches.
Most hip replacement surgeons in the US use the posterior approach. During this surgery, the patient lies on their side, and an incision is made at the back of the hip to access, remove, and replace the hip joint.
Recently, the anterior approach has grown in popularity. In this method, patients lay on their back and an incision is made on the front of the hip. The hip joint is then replaced through this incision.
Each approach has pluses and minuses, and it is important to understand which approach your surgeon recommends for you.
A robotic-assisted approach uses advanced computer technology to help with the hip replacement. The surgeon controls a robotic arm to manipulate their tools and visualizes the interior hip structures with a 3-D image.
Hip replacement surgeons in Kansas City
At KCOA, we have surgeons specializing in each of the above approaches. If you’re looking for the best hip replacement surgeon in Kansas City, take a look at the following providers:
- Dr. Scott Abraham
- Dr. David Clymer
- Dr. Scott Cook
- Dr. Robert Gardiner
- Dr. Danny Gurba
- Dr. John Krumme
- Dr. Daniel Reinhardt
- Dr. Nicholas Ting
- Dr. Scott Wingerter
Related: Orthopedic Surgeon in Olathe, KS
What to expect during surgery
Hip replacements can be performed outpatient (go home same day) or inpatient (stay overnight in the hospital) depending on several factors including your age, insurance plan, health, other medical conditions, and clearance from the physical therapist. During surgery, you will be under general anesthesia while your surgeon removes and replaces the damaged hip joint.
The surgery typically takes about 1.5 hours. You might feel discomfort after surgery, but with the help of pain medicine, you’ll still be up and around after the procedure. Believe it or not, the hip replacement is ready for full weight bearing as soon as you wake up from surgery.
What to expect after hip arthroplasty in South KC
Some patients spend a few nights in the hospital, while others go home the same day. Your KCOA surgeon will prepare you with specific post-operative treatment plans so you know what to expect based on your injury and procedure.
Generally, patients will begin physical therapy as soon as possible to build the hip joint’s strength and range of motion. You will need to use a walker in the days after your surgery and can return to normal (light) activities in 3 to 6 weeks. After 10 to 12 weeks, most patients can return to their regular activities.
We will schedule follow-up appointments and take x-rays to check on you during your recovery, ensure the new hip is aligned correctly and to remove stitches if necessary. If you have questions during any part of the process, contact KCOA and we will be happy to help!
Make an appointment with KCOA to discuss hip arthroplasty in South KC
At Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, we’re dedicated to creating a superior patient experience for all. If you’re considering hip arthroplasty in South KC, our team will work with you to ensure the best possible outcomes. We’ve helped thousands of patients treat their pain, restore their function, and increase their quality of life.
Wherever you are in Kansas City, you’ll find a KCOA clinic nearby. Our providers cover Lee’s Summit, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Johnson County, and more!
For a thorough evaluation, call us at (913) 319-7600 or schedule an appointment today. If you’re struggling with hip pain but don’t know where to start, use our symptom tracker for treatment recommendations.