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What are the Different Types of Hip Surgery?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Surgery involving the hips is often helpful when it comes to restoring mobility, as well as alleviating pain. The surgery may be necessary to correct some type of physical defect that has developed, or to repair damage sustained due to an accident of some type. There are several different types of hip surgery that are commonly employed today, ranging from repair to a full hip replacement.

Some forms of hip surgery are aimed at repairing fractures somewhere on the hipbone. Hip pinning and hip fixation are two examples. With hip pinning, the goal is to surgically insert screws into the femoral head, then attach them to a corresponding plate that is positioned on the femoral shaft. The plate is secured with a series of smaller screws. Once the connection is made, the fracture is locked in place, allowing the bone to heal.

With hip fixation, the idea is to address a fracture or break that occurred at the exact position where the femoral head and the femoral neck come together. As with hip pinning, this form of hip surgery uses screws to immobilize the fracture and facilitate the healing process. Care must be taken with this procedure, as there is some chance of interfering with the blood flow to the femur.

There are also different types of hip arthroplasty surgery in common use today. Hemi-arthroplasty is a procedure that is employed when the femoral head is so damaged that it is deemed beyond repair. The damaged head is removed, and a prosthetic is implanted. Assuming the hip socket is in good condition, the patient stands a good chance of recovering a full range of motion once the recuperative period is complete.

A full hip arthroplasty would involve removal of multiple damaged areas and replacing those areas with prosthetics. Hip surgery of this type is considered radical, and is usually performed only when there is no chance of other methods effectively correcting the problem. Hip replacement of this type will include not only replacement of the femoral head, but also the socket and possibly the femoral neck.

It is important to note that before hip surgery like arthroplasty or hemi-arthroplasty is performed, an investigative procedure known as hip arthroscopy is performed. This procedure involves deadening the area around the hip, then inserting a small needle that is equipped with imaging equipment capable of allowing the surgeon to assess the degree of damage before the actual surgery takes place. Hip arthroscopy makes it possible to accurately determine the scope of surgery needed, saving a great deal of time once the actual surgery is underway.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including The Health Board, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon1002260 — On Oct 09, 2019

I have had hip problems for 7 years, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester found from their X-rays that I needed complete hip replacement. I knew this was going to happen, and I am so glad that they found it.

The doctor they referred me to had me get a steroid shot to see if this would relieve the pain. It did, but I told the doctor that I heal very fast and would probably be calling in five or six weeks. I was correct, and he was not. Now I am having to wait the three months after getting injections because of the stupid steroid injections.

Warning to those who get this injection: you have to wait at least three months after the injection due to having infections in the hip. I have 1 more month to wait.

Read up as much as possible about hip replacement. Teach yourself.

By Chmander — On Feb 20, 2014

@Viranty - Last week, my Mom's friend went in for hip surgery, and even though I'll admit that I was a little nervous at first, I'm glad that everything turned out all right in the end. You see, that's the thing about physical and medical complications. Though there are always risks, that's not to say that we should avoid them. It's just a part of life.

By Viranty — On Feb 20, 2014

In my opinion, one of the most risky things about surgeries are that complications that come along with it. Though surgery does help, that's not to say that it doesn't have it's side effects. As an example, I know a friend of mine who tore a ligament in her leg, and had to go in for five surgeries. Every time it seemed like the problem had gone away, there was always another complication creeping around the corner. Everything comes with a risk.

By RoyalSpyder — On Feb 19, 2014

Even though surgery isn't always a risky procedure, there are always those factors that should be taken into consideration. First of all, do you have enough money to pay for the surgery? Hospital visits and recoveries can be very expensive, and they don't come cheap, that's for sure. I remember one time I was in the hospital for less than twenty four hours, and yet my bill was still astronomically high. Good thing I was able to pay it off.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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