8.11.2018

Topfit despite new hip joint? The SuperPath technology makes it possible

Around 210,000 hip prostheses are used each year in Germany. The most common cause is severe joint wear, ie osteoarthritis. When conservative therapies the complaints such as pain and stiffness do not relieve any longer, an artificial hip joint is ultimately unavoidable. Expert Dr. Henning Quitmann explains what the patient should know about it.

Are your patients mostly elder people?

Dr. Henning Quitmann: Not at all. We also have more and more younger patients. In the past, patients opted for surgery when they could barely walk. Here, freedom from pain was the main goal. Today, the demands on an implant have changed. Those affected want to actively participate in life and play sports again. That's why many younger people opt for surgery. One should not wait too long, because if the damage is already too large, the operation becomes more complex and then it may be that the original mobility can not be restored.

How do I find the right prosthesis for me?

Dr. Quitmann: The choice of prosthetic model depends on many factors, such as severity and degree of disease. If the entire hip joint has to be replaced, a total hip endoprosthesis is required for use. This consists of a hip socket that is inserted into the pelvis, the hip stem implanted in the femur, and a ball head placed on the hip stem. A successful surgery allows a largely normal function of the artificial hip.

Which surgical methods are used?

Dr. Quitmann: There are two methods available: one is the conventional surgical method, in which the hip joint is fully opened surgically with partial muscle detachment. On the other hand, the minimally invasive surgical technique, in which the hip prosthesis is implanted in a tissue-friendly manner. Extremely gentle is a new minimally invasive access technology SuperPath. In this innovative method, no muscles and tendons are severed, but only kept aside. The joint capsule is retained, which is very important for the stabilization of the hip joint. The blood loss in this procedure is low, patients complain after surgery about less pain. Special advantage: The patients are quickly mobile again, can already on the day after surgery, the hip fully loaded and to run. So far, this technique has only been performed in a few specialized centers.

How long does an artificial hip joint last?

Dr. Quitmann: Usually at least 15 years, usually longer. If necessary, an exchange is possible.

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