A hip replacement is a life-changing procedure. If you are in severe pain from a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis or if you suffer a serious hip fracture, having joint replacement surgery can alleviate pain and help you to regain movement in the damaged joint. This can make a significant difference to your quality of life, enabling you to do many of the things you used to do and live life to the full once more.
Medical and technological advances mean that hip replacement surgery is advancing all the time and at Carrothers Orthopaedics we are pleased to offer our patients the choice between two state-of-the-art procedures – Mako robotic arm-assisted surgery and bespoke custom-made hip implants. This blog will look at the key differences between the two and help you to decide which might be best for you.
Total vs partial hip replacement
You might hear the terms ‘partial’ and ‘total’ hip replacement (also called arthroplasty). In a total hip replacement, both the ball and socket part of your hip joint are replaced with a prosthetic implant. By contrast, in a partial hip replacement, only the ball part of the hip joint (called the femoral head) is replaced. The prosthetic femoral head rotates inside the natural bony joint socket (the acetabulum).
Although a partial hip replacement is a shorter surgical procedure and carries a lower risk of complications than a total hip replacement, the naturally-occurring cartilage inside the socket will likely not remain healthy when it moves against an artificial surface as compared to natural bone. For this reason, partial hip replacements are normally only offered to older patients for whom the full surgery may not be the best option.
What is Mako Hip Replacement Surgery?
Mako is a highly advanced system that uses specialist software and robotic arm technology to ensure precision during hip replacement surgery. It complements the skill of the orthopaedic surgeon, enabling them to plan and carry out surgery with greater accuracy than ever before.
Prior to your joint replacement surgery, a CT scan of your hip is taken and used to create a detailed 3D model of the joint. This forms the basis of a personalised surgical plan which is used by the surgeon during your operation, supported by Mako’s highly advanced robotic arm.
What are the benefits of Mako robotic arm assisted hip surgery?
Every person’s anatomy is unique so a system that maps the hip joint in precise detail and then formulates a personalised surgical plan helps to ensure greater accuracy and allows “patient customised implantation”. Positioning the prosthetic hip implant in precisely the right place helps it to function as close as possible to your natural hip joint, giving the best possible range of movement.
Mako assesses the natural movement patterns of your joint, helping to minimise stress on ligaments and soft tissues from your new implant. Data shows there is a lower risk of complications, less chance of implant failure and faster rehabilitation for patients who have Mako robotic arm assisted joint replacements compared to conventional surgery.
What are Symbios bespoke hip implants?
Another important advance in hip replacement surgery is the development of custom-made implants.
We use Symbios customised hip implants which are specifically designed and made for each individual patient. Every person’s anatomy is subtly different and orthopaedic surgeons have long recognised the limitations of using standard-sized implants. Bespoke implants overcome this and provide the best possible performance for patients. Symbios is the world leader in customised prosthetic hip implants.
What are the benefits of custom-made hip implants?
Outcomes are generally better with bespoke implants, leading to higher patient satisfaction levels. Because the Symbios prosthesis matches the patient’s individual anatomy with pinpoint accuracy, less bone has to be removed leaving a greater area for the implant to be fixed to. There is less post-operative bleeding into the joint, less pain, less swelling and a lower risk of soft tissue impingement which can cause ongoing symptoms.
Mako or Symbios?
It is important to remember that any type of hip replacement surgery offers the possibility of greatly improved quality of life, and your orthopaedic surgeon will strive to give you the best outcomes whether you go through the NHS or privately. If you have a choice between Mako or Symbios, talk to your surgeon and ask for their advice.
We are advocates of both as both are highly advanced and will help to ensure you experience the fullest possible range of movement and function from your new hip. It is often that one procedure is slightly better suited to your unique circumstances, therefore if you need help to make a decision or have any other questions about hip replacement surgery, we would be happy to help.