Q:

When should you have a total hip replacement instead of a partial hip replacement?

A:

Quick Answer

Total hip replacements are more appropriate for situations where there is arthritis in the hip prior to replacement or there is other damage to the cartilage, according to Holy Cross Orthopaedic Institute. Total hip replacement tends to last longer and lead to more pain reduction than partial hip replacement.

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Full Answer

Partial hip replacements tend to be more stable than total hip replacements due to use of a larger ball, Holy Cross Orthopaedic Institute says. This makes it preferable for some people who are very active. Partial hip replacement is simpler and easier than total hip replacement, so it is less risky for people who may not tolerate surgery well. Partial hip replacement is generally only performed for breaks in the femoral neck, which leads to the ball of the hip. This part of the bone does not have great blood supply, so it often does not heal after breaking.

Total hip replacements are often preferred even for people who otherwise qualify for partial hip replacements, claims Holy Cross Orthopaedic Institute. Several studies indicate that total hip replacements perform better for most people, including those without arthritis or other cartilage damage. Total hip replacements can be modified to more closely resemble partial hip replacements if their stability is an issue.

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