Hip Replacement Surgery in Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Hip Replacement Surgery in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hip Replacement Surgery in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, autoimmune disorder resulting into inflammation, polyarthritis and severe pain. Degeneration of cartilage, and joints resulting into bone or skeletal deformity is extremely common. However, in severe cases, joint replacement remains the only solution after exposure to consecutive conservative treatment. However, it most commonly affects the limbs resulting into chronic inflammation and pain. Approximately 24.5 million cases of individuals being affected were reported in the year 2015, among which most of them were diagnosed with RA in the shoulder joints, pelvic girdle and knees. RA affecting the hip joint leads to loss of physical activity, causing difficulty in sitting, and moving let alone walking. Hence, in such cases, hip replacement surgery is highly recommended to provide umpteenth relief.

a. What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common auto-immune diseases that affect millions of people all around the globe. The disease can affect people of any age, but is generally diagnosed among adults. In this case, the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks its own cells and tissues. Mostly affecting the joints, RA leads to severe destruction of synovial tissue linings thereby leading to accumulation of synovial fluid, degeneration of bones and cartilages. RA causes partial to complete disability in physical activity and results in bone deformities. Such individuals require a series of conservative treatments involving anti-inflammatory medicines, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs such as sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine, cyclosporin, methotrexate, etc. In extreme cases, surgical replacement of the affected part is highly recommended.

b. What is hip replacement surgery?

Hip replacement surgery involves complete replacement of the hip joint with advanced prosthesis, in order to enhance life quality and ensure better movement to the suffering individual. The prosthesis acts like an artificial hip bone, the stem of which is affixed into the femur and the head of which gets attached to the hip girdle like a ball and socket joint. Mostly done in case of hip fracture, hip replacement surgery is also opted in case the other conservative treatments fail to yield any satisfactory result.

The surgical procedure involves two techniques:

  • Hip resurfacing where metal plates are inserted to resurface and fix the damaged portions.
  • Total replacement surgical procedure where the destroyed parts are replaced with prosthesis.

Such operations involving the use of artificial substances, or prosthesis highly depends on the type of attachment used, which also determines the long-term success rate of the procedure. The attachment of the prosthesis is performed in either of the two ways:

  • Cemented: In this case, a special kind of cementing substance is used to affix the prosthesis to the bone which can also assist free movement.
  • Uncemented: The porous exterior off the bone acts as a surface of attachment for the prosthesis.

c. Can hip replacement surgery be used for hip arthritis?

The surgical procedure is mostly used in case of hip fractures, injury or trauma that leads to immobility to the individual. Hip arthritis causes major degeneration of the joint leading to partial or complete disability to the sufferer. The condition can worsen with age causing extreme pain and inflammation. When detected in the earlier stages, hip arthritis is mostly treated with anti-rheumatic drugs, physiotherapy, traction, exercise and other forms of treatments. However, hip replacement surgery remains as the only option in case the other conservative treatments fail to yield any relief. The modern surgical procedure involves complete replacement of the joint with the prosthesis thereby causing lesser complications and better life quality.

However, success of the surgery highly depends on the quality of the prosthesis used, the extent of replacement required and several other factors. These factors directly determine the hip replacement cost for rheumatoid arthritis in almost all the cases worldwide.

d. Success rate of Hip Replacement Surgery

Modern technology and advancement in the field of medical science has resulted in a high success rate of hip replacement surgery all around the world. With the help of cutting-edge technology and enhanced accuracy in diagnosing and analyzing the extent of damage, it has been possible to achieve approximately 95% of success rate in such conditions. The success rate for both short-term and long-term post-operation life varies approximately from 90% to 95% depending on the complexity of the condition and the extent of degeneration suffered by the bones.

Although the progressive technology guarantees high success rate, yet a slight risk of complication still lingers, which is why, implementing postoperative care is extremely important.

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