Understanding the Basics Behind Hemiarthroplasty
What is Hemiarthroplasty?
Hip replacement procedures have helped many people return to the activities they love and live a pain free lifestyle.
In some cases, only part of the hip needs to be replaced because of a fracture to the femoral head, the ball part of the hip’s “ball-and-socket” joint.
This procedure is called a hemiarthroplasty. During a hemiarthroplasty, the surgeon removes the femoral ball and replaces it with a prosthetic device. Unlike a total hip replacement, however, the socket part of your hip is left intact.
The highly-trained orthopedic hip physicians at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance have the expertise required to treat a variety of hip issues, both surgically and non-surgically. When you visit a specialist at KCOA, we focus on creating a treatment plan based on your specific conditions, symptoms, and recovery goals.
Common issues that may require a hemiarthroplasty include:
- Severe pain in your groin or hip
- Severe limp or inability to put weight on affected leg
- Inability to stand up from a fall or walk
- Swelling or bruising in your hip or groin
- Shorter leg on side of injured hip
Hip fractures most commonly occur in people 65 years or older with weakened bones (known as osteopenia or osteoporosis) and usually result from falls.
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance hip Injuries Assessment
Assessing the Injury
Finding the right hip treatment in Kansas City starts with an assessment.
You can think of hip pain as a spectrum, with some instances being more severe than others. The KCOA orthopedic specialists always focus on each individual patient and their concerns before creating a treatment plan.
Therefore, during your initial appointment, we will often ask questions such as:
- Does your pain currently limit you or your activities?
- Has your pain progressed or worsened recently?
- Have you experienced any locking in your hip or an inability to stand or walk normally?
- Have you noticed any change in your symptoms that has made it more challenging to function?
- What are your lifestyle goals?
- How has pain affected those goals?
From there, we can decide which treatment option aligns best with your needs and lifestyle goals. After a proper assessment, we often begin with a physical examination to help determine the origin point of your pain. In some cases, advanced testing may be required for a full diagnosis.
Also called radiographs, an X-ray captures a picture of the hip. Orthopedic physicians may order an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture (broken bone), osteoarthritis, or other hip-related conditions.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI captures images of muscles, bones, intervertebral discs, and tendons to help provide information other tests can’t detail. During an MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field around you, using pulsed radio waves to form the MRI images.
Establishing a Care Plan
Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered specifically to you.
Many people believe it’s best to wait until pain becomes severe, leading them to “put off” or delay treatments.
If you are in constant discomfort, have shooting or stabbing pains, have limited range of motion, or an inability to perform your daily activities, hip hemiarthroplasty may be right for you.
New technologies allow patients with hip pain to fully recover and enjoy the benefits of a more functional, pain-free lifestyle.
Prior to surgery, you will typically receive at least 2 phone calls:
- A hospital registration representative will call to gather insurance and other personal information.
- A registered nurse will call to review your health history and medication information.
Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:
- Pre-surgical laboratory tests
- Primary care clearance
Pre-operative instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your surgery.
Always check with your physician prior to surgery.
Most physicians require that patients not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery the next day.
Additionally, you will need a designated family member or friend to drive you home on the day you are released from the hospital. Surgical patients cannot drive themselves home.
Day of Surgery
If you schedule your surgery with a KCOA physician, you can expect the following on surgery day:
- A receptionist will check you in at the hospital registration desk.
- A nurse will take you back and prepare you for surgery. They will start an IV, prepare the surgical site, and review your medical history and medications.
- Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you prior to your operation.
- The surgical team will take you to the operation suite for surgery.
How it Works
When non-surgical options have been exhausted or are proving ineffective, it might be time to consider a hemiarthroplasty. Hemiarthroplasty is a viable treatment option if the femoral head (ball) is affected, but the acetabulum (socket) is functioning normally.
During a hip hemiarthroplasty in Kansas City, the femoral ball is removed and replaced with a prosthetic device. Unlike a total hip replacement, however, the socket part of your hip is left intact.
Hip hemiarthroplasty in Kansas City is a major surgery that requires anesthesia. Once the anesthesia takes effect, your surgeon will make an incision so the hip joint is easily accessible.
From there, your surgeon removes the damaged femoral head from the rest of the femur. The surgeon creates space on the inside of the femur and inserts a metal stem inside. Then, they securely attach a prosthetic femoral head to the metal stem. The new “ball joint” is re-inserted into the socket and the incisions are closed and bandaged.
Post-Op & What to Expect
After your surgery, you will remain in the recovery room before being discharged. Our experienced clinical team will monitor you during this recovery and provide pain relief medication, if needed.
You may need crutches or another assistive device for the first couple of weeks after surgery to aid in mobility and to ensure you’re not putting too much stress on the repaired joint.
Your physician may refer you to a physical therapist to begin rehabilitation shortly after surgery. It’s crucial to follow through with physical therapy to rebuild strength and regain range of motion.
It’s important you monitor your incision sites to ensure they are kept clean, dry and free from infection. You will be sore and the area may be bruised and swollen—that’s to be expected. Pay attention to your body and be sure to report any concerns to your care team.
Causes of Hip Pain
There are different types of joints in the body; the hip is a “ball-in-socket” joint. Just as the name suggests, a ball-in-socket joint consists of a ball-like structure that moves inside a depression in the bone to allow for rotational movements. In the hip, the ball-shaped head of your thigh bone (femur) that fits into the hip socket (acetabular socket) creates the joint.
The most common reason patients require a hemiarthroplasty is a fracture in the femoral head or neck. This comes from traumatic injury, such as high impact falls, vehicle accidents, or sports injuries.
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance physicians prefer non-surgical measures in most cases. We usually only suggest surgical options after exhausting multiple less-invasive treatments. Here are a few of the different non-surgical treatments we recommend:
Physical Therapy – Seeking out guidance from a trained therapist to help restore function and strength is often a preferred treatment. Therapists are experts in the musculoskeletal system and their ability to assist with manual techniques or exercise instruction can lead to excellent outcomes.
- Injections – Cortisone injections can help with inflammation, and the effects tend to last for 3 to 6 months before you might need another one. Many people manage their pain with injections and exercise.
Medications – At times, the pain becomes too much and hinders movement. In those instances, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil) or prescription medications. Especially with NSAIDs, you should always talk to your doctor to ensure they are the right treatment for you. Side effects can include stomach irritation, ulcers, or even kidney damage. Reasonable dosing and monitoring can help alleviate those side effects.
Regenerative Medicines – Regenerative medicines like stem cell injections or platelet-rich plasma can help nourish worn or damaged tissue. This option works best if you have mild-to-moderate hip pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find expert orthopedic care in Kansas City at KCOA.
Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.
With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.
Overland Park, Kansas10777 Nall Ave Suite 300 Overland Park, KS 66211
Leawood, Kansas3651 College Blvd. Leawood, KS 66211
Kansas City, MissouriSaint Luke's Medical Plaza #1 4320 Wornall Rd., Ste. 610 Kansas City, MO 64111
Belton, MissouriBelton Regional Campus 17067 S Outer Rd #301 Belton, MO 64012
Merriam, Kansas7450 W. Frontage Rd Merriam, KS 66203
My experience with Dr. Moore, at Apex Sports Medicine has been very positive. She is very competent and confident in her abilities. She is very thorough in explaining things and answers any and all questions. I am very pleased.
This place is amazing! I cannot say enough good things about our experience here! From the reception desk where they were beyond helpful and even made phone calls for me to my kids pediatrician to very short wait time then the patience and help of doctors and staff that were great with my 3 year old! Getting same day service this great was so nice! Love this place and highly recommend!!
6 weeks post op and Dr. Brown says I’m progressing well. She’s very knowledgeable, and is very quick to answer any questions I have. She’s also very personable, we laughed a lot during my last appointment. Looking forward to seeing her again.
Great people who are very willing to help you work through the best way to handle your injury.
I left a very happy patient.
…I arrived a little bit late. I got checked in quickly and was back in a room within 10 minutes. Dr Rhodes was very friendly and took the time to pull up pictures of my surgery and show them and explain them to me. I left a very happy patient.