Questions and Answers about Hip Replacement – Surgery&Rehabilitation Example

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'Questions and Answers about Hip Replacement' is a good example of a paper on surgery and rehabilitation.   A hip replacement is the removal of all or part of the hip joint and insertion of an artificial ball or an artificial ball and socket. According to Ashton (2010), the diseased bone and joint surfaces are replaced with new or prosthetic parts. Hip replacements became a possibility after the Second World War, partly because of the availability of new materials such as special high-density plastics. These were used with existing materials like stainless steel to create artificial hip joints, called hip prostheses.

Many thousands of total hip replacements are performed every year. In 1992, over 7700 hip replacements were performed in the UK (Elsersawi, 2010). The operation is now regarded by most members of the medical profession as a routine procedure. The commonly used type of hip-replacement is plastic and metal implants. The ball and socket joint in the hip is replaced with a prosthesis made of metal, and the spaces between them are replaced with a plastic spacer. The plastic used is commonly polyethene, and the metals used are stainless steel, cobalt chrome, and titanium.

This type has been common due to its minimally invasive and has less impact on the locomotion of an individual. The use of stainless steel and all the other two metals, guarantees individual non-frequent replacements of the metal, as they rarely rust (Lassen, 2008). In the UK, for instance, metal and plastic hip replacements have been used since the start of the 19th century. The figure below shows a diagrammatic representation of hip-joint that can undergo hip-replacement. According to the medical information provided in 2010, there are approximately 30,000 annual hip replacements that occur in the UK.

As such, about 0.05% of the total population of the UK is involved in hip replacement (Sinha, 2002). The figure is predicted to rise in the future. The table below shows the prevalence of annual hip replacement in the UK and across the world.   Region Prevalence UK 0.05% Canada 0.003% Mexico 1.68% Australia 0.36% Brazil 1.024% Austria 0.068% China 0.154% Metal-on -metal implants have been designed to use only metals as their materials. Unlike the metal-on-plastic implants, this form of implants does not use plastics between the metal implants but uses metals (Knahr, 2012).

The femoral head and the stem are replaced with stainless steel. In some cases, hip prosthesis may be made of titanium, and both the head and the acetabular cup are also structured with stainless steel. In addition, metal-on-metal devices are usually larger; therefore, enhancing the stability and less dislocation of the hip joint (Kennon, 2008). In addition, metal-on-metal implants have been structured in a way to minimize the metal debris from wear and tear, which may result in an eventual disability of the patient. Types of hip-implants The current medical practitioners across the globe are investigating the various ways to improve the various types of hip-implants.

In choosing the type of hip-implant, an individual has to analyze the features, advantages, and disadvantages of the implant. The table below analyzes the various hip-plants across the globe. Types Features Advantages Disadvantages Metal and Plastic Implant Ball and socket of the hip joint replaced with a metal prosthesis. The spaces between them are replaced with a plastic spacer. The metal used includes titanium, cobalt chrome, and stainless steel. Comfortable due to its plastic spacer The minimum level of metallic debris in the patient’ s blood (MacDonald, 2004). They wear out easily, unlike the metal-on-metal implant. Not durable It is smaller, as the plastic takes up the space between the metals; hence, it can easily dislocate Metal-on-Metal Implant No plastic is used in the implant. Only metals such as titanium, cobalt chrome, and stainless steel are used. Durable Do not wear out easily. Highly rigid Larger; therefore, enhance stability and less dislocation of the hip joint The materials create metallic debris and microscopic particles (Fischer, 2010). Patients’ bloodstream contains high levels of microscopic metal particles. Ceramic-on-Ceramic Implant Uses ceramic materials for hip replacement. No metals are used, and a ceramic spacer is used between the spaces. No metallic debris released Rigid Biocompatible and durable   In the case of ceramic debris, a surgical operation is imminent. Reports have indicated that approximately 1-3% of surgical operations undertaken have failed (Kennon, 2008).

This has been attributed to the lack of experience in surgical operations and effect of heat-treated alloys. Metal ions or minute particles have been reported to have worn out causing disability and severe pain to the patient. Apart from the inexperience of surgical practitioners, complications may also arise due to the patient’ s allergy.


Ashton, Q. 2010. Issues in Bone, Joint, and orthopedic Surgery: 2011 Edition, London: John Wiley & Sons.

Elsersawi, A. 2010. World of Nanobioengineering: Potential Big Ideas for the Future, London: AuthorHouse.

Fischer, S. 2010. 100 Questions & Answers about Hip Replacement, London: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Kennon, R. 2008. Hip and Knee Surgery: A Patient's Guide to Hip Replacement, Hip Resurfacing, Knee Replacement, and Knee Arthroscopy, North Carolina:

Knahr, K. 2012. Total Hip Arthroplasty: Wear Behavior of Different Articulations, London: Springer.

Lassen, M. 2008. Practical use of apixaban in the prevention of venous thromboembolism after total knee or hip replacement. MEDLINE Journal, 48(4):249-58.

MacDonald, S. 2004. Getting Hip: Recovery from a Total Hip Replacement, London: AuthorHouse.

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