How Can You Determine which Hip Replacement Implant Is Best?
Apr. 07, 2021
There are many orthopaedic manufacturing companies that produce different implants for hip replacement surgery. Most of these companies produce several different hip prostheses. Is there a way to determine which hip replacement implant is best?
Hip replacement surgery
When hip replacement surgery is performed, a damaged, worn-out hip joint is replaced with an artificial implant.1 The materials used in artificial implants may vary, but usually include metal, plastic or ceramic. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint and its removal requires the surgeon to remove the ball and reshape the socket. The artificial implant is then placed in the bone. The implant can be fixed into the bone by wedging it tightly into place, or it can be fixed in place. The type of fixation used will depend on the health of the patient's bones and the design of the implant.
One of the most important aspects of hip replacement surgery is determining the appropriate implant to be used in the procedure. However, the criteria for selecting the best hip replacement implant vary.
Are you using the latest design of implant or the implant with the longest track record?
Will the surgeon use many different implants depending on the needs of each patient, or will he or she become an expert in using one implant for a specific patient?
Should the surgeon use the implant suggested or requested by the patient?
Orthopaedic supply companies have started to advertise directly to consumers. Advertisements can be seen in magazines and newspapers, on late-night television and in brochures in doctors' offices. These advertisements may lead you to believe that one implant is proving to be better than others. This was seen recently in advertisements for ceramic hip replacements.
However, the truth is that no one knows what the "best" implant is. The ideal hip replacement implant would allow for normal activity, normal movement and last the patient's lifetime.1 The only way to know if these goals can be achieved is to use the implant in people who perform normal activities and then track the results over decades. As a result, recently designed implants do not have long-term records to demonstrate their longevity.
Implant selection for hip replacement
Implant brand and surgeon's expertise
Another important factor for patients is that the brand of hip replacement may not be the most important factor in determining how long an implant will last. One of the most important aspects of ensuring that an artificial joint lasts as long as possible is precise, accurate surgery. A correctly aligned joint replacement is essential for the long-term function of the implant.
A good analogy is to consider the tyres on your car. It doesn't matter what brand of tyres you use on your car - if the wheels are not aligned correctly, they won't last.
It is important to find a surgeon who is experienced in joint replacement surgery and has a good track record of results. It may seem difficult to identify a surgeon with the right level of experience, but you can ask questions and consult his or her opinion to help find the right surgeon.
Patients and surgeons should select an implant that meets the following criteria.
the implant has a reasonable track record of use (at least 5 to 10 years)
The surgeon has used the implant previously
Suitable for the patient's condition
If you are in doubt about a particular implant, ask your doctor or surgeon and ask them to compare it with the implants he or she normally uses. If you need more information about implants, you can read more about them on the company website. In addition, it is reasonable to ask your surgeon if he or she receives any financial compensation from the implant company. A potential conflict of interest exists when a surgeon uses an implant manufactured by a company for which he or she is financially compensated. In such cases, your surgeon should disclose this potential conflict of interest and explain why one implant in particular is recommended over another for your case.