For the last two decades, surgeons have been working to improve results of hip replacement surgery. Specifically, surgeons have been trying to get implants to last longer to prevent the need for additional surgery to redo implanted joints. Surgeons have also hoped to offer this procedure to younger patients, who previously were told they were too young for hip replacement.
As a result, surgeons have been using new implants including ceramic hip replacements, and metal-on-metal hip replacements. Some of these implant have shown early success, others have been dramatic failures. But now we are getting some longer term data to allow us to understand how much we are helping.
It turns out, not much. Newer materials have not been shown to be significant improvements, and in fact, may not be as good as traditional metal and plastic hip replacements.
Perhaps over time, hip implants will change. However, not all changes are necessarily beneficial, and patients and surgeons need to balance theoretical benefits with the best data available.
Related: Hip Replacement Implant Options
Sources: "New Hip Implants No Better Than Older Ones, Study Finds"
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The most common joints we talk about in terms of arthritis are hips and knees, but in some people, other joint can be just as painful.
Elbow arthritis can occur as a result of rheumatoid arthritis, the result of an old injury, or wear-and-tear osteoarthritis. While many people can manage the symptoms of arthritis in the elbow joint with simple treatments (including medications, activity modifications, and often a cortisone shot), there are also surgical treatment options.
The two most common surgical procedures are arthroscopic elbow surgery to clean up damage including loose cartilage and bone spurs, and an elbow replacement surgery. Learn about these procedures and other treatments for elbow arthritis...
ACL surgery is often a recommended treatment for athletes who injure the anterior cruciate ligament. ACL surgery can have complications with serious implications.
The possible risks of surgery include:
- Re-tear of the ACL
- Persistent knee pain
Learn about the possible complications of surgery and what you can do to avoid these problems.
A report in the Washington Post is raising questions about the medical necessity of many spinal fusion surgeries. The report highlights a single neurosurgeon, who had his spine fusion surgeries audited. While internal audits from the hospital found no problems with the rationale for surgery, an external review found that only 1 of the 10 was a necessary surgical procedure.
Spinal fusion surgery is a major surgical procedure with significant risks for the patient to consider. National studies have estimated that up to half of spine fusion surgeries are probably not necessary. Have you had a spine fusion? Were you told it was mandatory by your surgeon? Leave your comments below...