1. Do you use a surgical assistant?
An assistant who is a qualified medical doctor may be used to help with the procedure. They are valuable members of the surgical team and can make extremely beneficial contributions to the success of your operation by assisting in both simple and complicated cases. In some instances where the procedure is complex, we may invite another orthopaedic surgeon to assist with the operation to help ensure that things run smoothly. Their fee is a small percentage of the procedure fee and is reflected by a specific code on your account in order for your medical aid to reimburse you according to your chosen plan.
2. How long will my replacement last?
There are adequate methods of uncemented as well as cemented fixation to the skeleton, but as hip replacements last longer and longer the main problems, especially in younger people are component wear (a problem virtually solved), secondary loosening, and bone destruction. Often the interface between prosthesis and bone can get damaged by wear particles. The tendency is towards uncemented fixation of prosthesis even allowing for playing of limited sport where the bone quality is adequate.
There is the danger that an implant can fail at any time if, for example, there is an unexpected loosening caused by an infection, or by collapse of the bone, in which case it cannot support the prosthesis. This is why sporting activities, for example, should be limited and discussed in detail with the surgeon. In general if the patient is too active, it can lead to early failure of the hip replacement.
3. What are the different orthopaedic procedures called?
Nonsurgical Treatment: Orthopaedic surgeons treat many musculoskeletal conditions without surgery—by using medication, exercise and other rehabilitative or alternative therapies. For most orthopaedic diseases and injuries there is more than one form of treatment. If necessary, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend surgery if you do not respond to nonsurgical treatments.
Surgical Treatment: Orthopaedic surgeons perform numerous types of surgeries. Common procedures include:
Arthroscopy—a procedure that uses special cameras and equipment to visualize, diagnose and treat problems inside a joint.
Fusion—a "welding" process by which bones are fused together with bone grafts and internal devices (such as metal rods) to heal into a single solid bone.
Internal fixation—a method to hold the broken pieces of bone in proper position with metal plates, pins or screws while the bone is healing.
Joint replacement (partial, total and revision)—when an arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis.
Osteotomy—the correction of bone deformity by cutting and repositioning the bone.
Soft tissue repair—the mending of soft tissue, such as torn tendons or ligaments.