What is X-ray Guided Hip Replacement?

Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the damaged hip joint is replaced with a prosthetic implant. X-ray guided hip replacement involves the use of pre-operative radiographic studies to help select the right size of the implant and to determine the proper position in which the implant should be placed.

Benefits of X-ray Guided Hip Replacement

Benefits of X-ray guided hip replacement include:

  • Improves hip biomechanics
  • Increases implant longevity 
  • Minimizes leg-length discrepancy
  • Helps the surgeon anticipate potential difficulties with the surgery

Anatomy of the Hip

The hip joint is a weight-bearing, ball-and-socket joint in which the head of the femur forms the ball, and the pelvic acetabulum forms the socket. The bone surfaces in the joint are covered by smooth articular cartilage that enables smooth movement of the joint. The bones are held together by several bands of tissue called ligaments which provide stability to the joint.

Preparation for X-ray Guided Hip Replacement

Pre-operative preparation for x-ray guided hip replacement includes:

  • Your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms and based on this a physical examination of the hip will be performed.
  • Multiple X-rays will be taken to measure the length and depth of the damaged joint.
  • The X-rays help in the selection and sizing of the implants based on your anatomy and can be used to identify anatomical landmarks that serve as reference points so that the prosthesis is implanted in the correct position.

Procedure for X-ray Guided Hip Replacement

  • The procedure can be performed under general or spinal anaesthesia.
  • A small incision will be made on the side or back of the hip. 
  • Special surgical instruments are introduced into the hip and based on the anatomic landmarks identified on the X-rays, the damaged tissue is removed and your surgeon will make precise cuts in your bone to place the implant components in the desired position.
  • The implant is then fixed, the range of motion of the joint is tested, and the incision is closed with sutures.

Postoperative Care and Instructions for X-ray Guided Hip Replacement

After the surgery, you will be moved to the recovery room where you will be under observation for a few hours. A physical therapist will provide instructions to help you with sitting or standing on the same day of surgery. You will also be given a daily exercise program that will help speed up your recovery.  Most patients take about 4-6 weeks to walk without any assistance and to engage in their normal activities of daily living.

Risks and Complications of X-ray Guided Hip Replacement

X-ray guided hip replacement is a very safe procedure; however, there are is a minimal risk of complications that include:

  • Osteolysis (damage to the bone)
  • Infection
  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Ossification (stiffness of the joint)
  • Joint instability
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