DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE

Surgeon's Experience Significant For Best Results After Total Hip Replacement

MALMO, SWEDEN--The frequency of dislocations after total hip joint replacement has been shown to be higher for inexperienced surgeons.

A total hip replacement involves surgically replacing a damaged hip joint with artificial materials (prosthesis). Total hip replacements are now common treatments for patients with hips severely affected by arthritis, fractures, and hip bone disease.

Complications of total hip joint replacement include dislocation of the hip, loosening of the prosthesis from the bone, and blood clots in the lower extremities.

To date, despite the lack of evidence, it had been accepted that increased surgical experience decreased the rate of post-operative dislocation of the joint.

In a study, published in 1997 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Urban Hedlundh, M.D. and associates reported the results of 4,230 total hip replacements and noted twice the number of dislocations associated with inexperienced surgeons as compared with their more experienced colleagues.

The effect of inexperience on the rate of dislocation was nullified after a surgeon had performed approximately 30 procedures. Further, the authors found that for every ten hip replacements performed annually by a surgeon, the risk of dislocation decreased by 50%.

These results emphasize the importance of the training period for younger orthopedic surgeons. They also point out the significance of maintaining operative skills specifically in those surgeons performing total hip joint replacements.

For more information, please please visit the Total Hip Joint Replacement Center.


Last Editorial Review: 1/29/2003