insertion for hip replacement

Posted by cindiwass @cindiwass, Sep 17 3:03am

I had total hip replacement last week and am still in a lot of pain. But–here is my question–I read that the surgeon "focuses on the thighbone (femur). After hollowing out the end of the femur, a long metal stem is placed into the hollow space. This stem can either be fixed into the femur with cement or press-fit (wedged tightly) into the bone. Over time, bone grows into the implant, further securing it." So I have questions about this and won't see my surgeon for a few weeks yet. Therefore, maybe you kind people could help answer? I mean — how long is the metal stem? That's one question. The next is, how long does it take to fuse bone to implant? One surgeon remarked that my femur is very, very thin. I guess it wasn't a compliment. So how flexible is that fuse, or does it have to be flexible, or maybe it's not supposed to be flexible? (Thanks in advance.)

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I'm hoping for what will be my third implant in my right hip, the first two have been removed due to infection. The first implant went about halfway down my femur; the second almost 3/4 of the way down. According to my surgeon, the implant is "porous" so the bone can grow into it. I'm pretty sure mine is "press fit". My surgeon said my bone is healthy and had vigorously grown in both times, making the last prosthesis extremely difficult to remove. He told me it was one of the most difficult surgeries he's ever had. No doubt, because it was definitely my most difficult recovery. So, my fuse has been completely inflexible, and effective for me. I don't think the fuse should be flexible at all – I can see that as a source of failure, but that's just a patient opinion.

In fact today I'm going in for a CT scan to check for bone deficiency among other things. My surgeon tells me that if my infection has been eradicated and my femur checks out, I'll be eligible for another implant, which is my hope. If not, I'll be going hipless on my right side which will be an entirely new journey. My left hip by the way has been stable and trouble free since its installation in 2004!

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