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Feature Article

Hip replacements: what the GP needs to know

MICHAEL O’SULLIVAN, MATT HOFMANN

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© TERI McDERMOTT
© TERI McDERMOTT

Abstract

Hip replacement surgery is restoring mobility to many thousands of Australians every year. A national registry has tracked the performance of every hip replacement implant performed in Australia since 1999, providing vital data to enhance patient safety. What is the latest thinking about benefits of types of prostheses and approaches to surgery, and what can patients expect after surgery? 

Key Points

  • Hip replacement surgery has been described as the operation of the century for its ability to restore quality of life to patients affected by arthritis.
  • After successful arthroplasty surgery, a patient should expect to return to normal everyday life with only very minor limitations.
  • A wide range of implants and implant combinations is on the Australian market. All are monitored for their performance and safety by the government-funded Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry.
  • The registry publishes yearly reports and its data contribute greatly to research and development worldwide.
  • There are several comparable options for the implantation of a hip replacement, with varying surgical approaches, types of implants and fixation methods.
  • Surgeons are the best source of information to advise on hip replacement options. They will base their reasoning on the best available scientific literature.

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© TERI McDERMOTT
© TERI McDERMOTT