The hip fulfills an essential function within the body. Particularly for active individuals, the hip engages with every step they take, kick in the pool or revolution on a bike. When this body part is compromised, it can keep a person immobile for some time. Further, hip injuries can lead to severe health complications such as blood clots and decreased muscle mass. Patients must seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent debilitating conditions.
Regarding hip treatments, two methods are widely considered: hip arthroscopy, also known as keyhole surgery and hip arthroplasty, commonly referred to as total hip replacement.
Below, we discuss the difference between hip arthroscopy and total hip replacement and which is the best treatment option for active persons.
What is Hip Arthroscopy?
Hip arthroscopy or keyhole surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that enables doctors to assess a problematic hip joint using an arthroscope. First, the surgeon inserts a fiber-optic tube fitted with a tiny camera into an incision at the patient's hip. Then, the device projects a large-scale image on the screen for the surgeon to look at. This visual allows them to remove torn cartilage or bone chips, repair a torn labrum (cartilage ring), remove a bone spur or bone growth, remove inflamed synovium, repair fracture or torn ligaments and help diagnose unexplained hip pain.
Some of the benefits of hip arthroscopy include the following:
Lower infection rate
Shorter hospital stays
The technological advances allowing this type of procedure continue to impress patients and doctors with its results. In addition, it is a popular treatment option for those engaged in sports since it has a shorter recovery period.
What is Hip Arthroplasty?
Hip arthroplasty or total hip replacement is a procedure where the surgeon removes problematic joints and replaces them with artificial components. It used to be that only those over the age of 65 would consider opting for this procedure. But technological advancements gave rise to an abundance of implants, making the surgery more common for younger individuals who sustained hip injuries.
What is the best hip replacement material that gives the most benefits to patients of all ages?
Most hip replacements use a mix of metal, ceramic, plastic or a combination of these for maximum effectiveness. However, titanium is the best hip replacement for active persons since it remains strong for decades while maintaining the flexibility needed for unimpaired movement.
Out of the two treatment options, hip arthroplasty is more invasive and requires a longer recovery. Due to this, most athletes forego this procedure since it requires them to remain inactive for a prolonged period. However, if the joint is beyond repair, total hip replacement may be necessary for patients to regain mobility.
Hip Arthroscopy vs Total Hip Replacement: Which One Is More Effective?
Both procedures target the hip joint, but they affect the patient differently. So when considering whether to get hip arthroscopy vs total hip replacement, it's crucial to consider the patient's condition heavily.
Hip arthroscopy is an effective treatment option for labral tears, and most individuals fully recover around six weeks. With physical therapy, active persons can return to sports or heavy exercise in 12 weeks. However, talking to the doctor about a specific recovery timeline is still essential. Your orthopedic surgeon will also give you a detailed list of activities to avoid stress on your hip, which may prolong recovery or cause reinjury.
On the other hand, total hip replacements are often recommended to patients whose joints are beyond repair. This is common in older individuals who remain active but have existing health conditions like Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteonecrosis. Recovery takes approximately eight weeks, depending on the patient's age, health and lifestyle. While most patients can remain active after a hip replacement, high-impact sports are discouraged.
Get in Touch With an Orthopedic Medical Professional Today
When deciding how to move forward with the prognosis of your hip pain, injury or stiffness, it's essential to consider the whole picture – mainly if you're accustomed to an active lifestyle. The best treatment option will depend on the patient and what they decide with their doctor. For this reason, choosing a doctor specializing in orthopedic surgery and hip replacements is crucial, so you receive the best, most specialized care available.
Whether you're considering hip arthroscopy or want to discuss options for the best hip replacement for active persons, Dr. Domb is available to answer your queries.
Dr. Benjamin Domb specializes in Sports Medicine and Hip Arthroscopy. Throughout the years, he has treated numerous professional athletes, including NBA, NHL and NBA players, allowing them to return to their sports in little to no time. He knows what is the best hip replacement material for active persons and can recommend the right treatment option that suits each patient's needs. In addition, Dr. Domb is continuously innovating and improving minimal invasive treatment methods for injuries, allowing for the development of cutting-edge techniques that treat any hip condition.
Our team is always ready to answer any questions you may have. So get in touch with Dr. Domb's office today!