Hip replacement, a simple surgery?

Koen De Smet

Hip joint specialist, Orthopedic surgeon. The Anca Clinic® is based in Ghent, Belgium, and Rome, Italy

May 5, 2022

Twenty years ago, a new hip joint was accompanied by a long rehabilitation, and it was a matter of taking care of patients to the point where they could return to their basic activities at home. Today, for most people, a new hip joint means they can resume their normal lives with the quality of life they are used to – including sports.

This has resulted in a need for better prostheses and more minimally invasive surgery on tissue and bone. As with all surgical procedures, an approach based on specialization and experience is required to achieve the best results with the lowest complication rate. 

Age has also changed: 50+ is not the same as 50+ 20 years ago; people today are living longer and staying more active. People who still play tennis or even run marathons at the age of 75 are no longer an exception. This has also changed our approach to hip joint care and, of course, the treatment procedures and implants at Anca Clinic in Ghent, Belgium and Rome, Italy. Operations are also performed in clinics in Switzerland.

With four surgeons, we operate on about 1,300 hip joints a year and have radically changed our procedure, using mainly a ceramic-on-ceramic bearing couple as the material for total endoprostheses; the surface replacement procedure represents a minimally invasive approach to the tissue. Patients recover very quickly and can resume their physical activities after only one to two months: They rebuild their muscles by playing sports as normal.

Ceramic surface renewal on ceramic.

The surface replacement procedure consists of removing the smallest possible amount of bone from the hip and giving the joint a new surface, namely a metal-on-metal bearing couple or nowadays also a ceramic-on-ceramic bearing couple. 22 years of experience (7,600 surface replacement procedures in our clinic) speak in favor of this procedure when applied in a specialized clinic with an experienced team and surgeons.

All recent studies indicate that patients with a surface replacement prosthesis can be more active and even engage in high-impact sports without worrying about damaging the implant. Even the World Health Organization recommends physical activity because of its many benefits, which include lower all-cause mortality, less coronary heart disease, lower blood pressure, less colon and breast cancer, and even less depression.

According to numerous publications and extensive database studies, patients with a surface replacement prosthesis have a significantly lower mortality rate than those with a hip TEP.

These research findings suggest that surface replacement should be considered if at all possible, not only because of the longer survival rate of the implant, but also because patients live longer and, more importantly, because it allows them to engage in the same activities as before.

Anca Clinic
Xavier De Cocklaan 68.1
9831 Deurle Belgium

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