Hip Replacement Surgeon & Specialist

When hip pain and loss of motion are causing serious problems, Dr. Sean Gallagher can assist patients to find relief. For Austin, Texas patients, Dr. Gallagher offers total hip replacement at his practice ATX Orthopedics located in Central Austin.


Hip Replacement Q&A

What is a total hip replacement?

To replace the ends of both bones found in the impaired hip joint and a construct new joint, a total hip replacement will be performed. To repair the hip, the surgery uses metal, ceramic, or plastic parts which restore the ball at the uppermost end of a person’s thighbone and will resurface the hip socket area of the pelvic bone. A camera is utilized to guide the surgeon’s actions when repairing the damaged cartilage. Replacement joints can be attached to the bones using cement or a special coating. Cemented joints are secured to the present bone by applied a form of glue. Un-cemented joints are fastened to the joint using a porous coating which is designed to allow the bone to adhere to the artificial joint. Over time, the bone grows over the artificial joint and grows into the gaps of the porous coating.

Is there a minimally invasive surgical option?

In some situations, the surgery can be performed using smaller incisions. This is referred to as minimally-invasive surgery. This type of procedure usually means less blood loss and scars which are less noticeable. However, this type of surgery usually takes longer to complete as well. This is because the surgery is far more complicated. An open surgery may also need to be performed if the new hip is not fitted properly. Minimally-invasive surgeries also require special training and tools and are therefore not used for a hip replacement as often. The doctor will determine if it a good option for patients based on the extent of the damage.

When is the surgery performed?

Doctors recommend joint replacement surgery when hip pain and loss of mobility is particularly bad and when drugs or additional therapies are no longer relieving the pain. The physician will employ an X-ray to view at the bones and cartilage inside the hip to decide if the discomfort is coming an issue which would not be corrected with surgery. Total hip replacement is best for those who:

Are in good general health
Can accept anesthetic and surgery
Have strong bones overall
Are at a healthy weight

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