Accidents are prone to happen, especially with children and elderly people, but this is not to say that individuals in other age groups cannot have accidents. These accidents happen in many ways including vehicular, industrial, and sporting accidents. These accidents are well known to cause injuries that have warranted surgeries such as hip replacements. However, accidents are not the only causes of hip replacement surgeries; diseases that wear the bone tissue away, such as arthritis and osteoporosis can cause serious damage to the bone to warrant replacement.
Hip replacement is the most suitable procedure to ensure that the hipbone is returned to an almost perfect condition after it was damaged. Hip replacement is a procedure that is done through surgery and rehabilitation therapy, to return the hip to good working condition. There is a variety of options when it comes to hip replacement and most of them are affordable, and once installed the hip can be as good as new. The options are classified according to the combination of materials used on the joint. The materials include plastic, metals, and ceramic. These options are:
Metal and cross-linked polyethylene plastic
This is the newest combination in the orthopedic field. It is popular for its durability in that the plastic is now even longer-lasting. Polyethylene plastic is a strong polymer that can withstand the friction between the metallic hip and itself during normal activities such as walking. Due to its durability and relative novelty in the market, it is expensive and unavailable in many centers. However, it offers the patient the opportunity of executing their activities in a normal way, especially when it is combined with physical therapy to return the joint to good working conditions.
Ceramic on ceramic
Due to its long-lasting nature, ceramic is used in hip replacement procedures. It is also known for its resistance to wear and tear, which makes it suitable for joint complications. It is affordable and adapts well to the body since there are no documented allergies to ceramic items and they offer better rotation around the joint. However, due to its brittle nature, it has been known to have the risk to break inside the body causing even more damage to the tissue around the joint. They also do not have a definite time guarantee due to this.
Metal on metal
This combination, just like the others is used as a replacement for the ball and socket prosthesis in hip replacement procedures. Typically, it is an unlikely combination but in this case, it is used because it offers a longer-lasting solution to these procedures. Though the combination is metal on metal, one would expect that the wear and tear are extremely high; on the contrary, though there are wear and tear, it is not as much as would normally be expected.
This is because the friction between metals requires a lot of force for it to be extremely degraded. The only concern about this combination is that upon eventual wear, there is going to be a lot of metal in the blood from the particles of worn down metal. However, there are no documented risks or cause of concern because of this but it does not discount the possibility of cancer or blood disorders. These combinations also vary in affordability depending on the type of metal used with titanium alloys being the most expensive and at the same time the most durable.
Metal on plastic
This combination involves the use of metal and plastic polymers as a prosthesis for the hipbone. Though highly unlikely, this combination is the oldest in the hip replacement industry. It is used in such a way the metallic part is used as the ball and socket with the plastic acting as a spacer to offer easy movement between the metals.
The plastic is normally a hardened polymer, hardened to decrease the possibility of fast wear and tear as it sits between the metals. The metallic part can be installed using two methods, by use of cement or by using the press-fit method. When using cement, the hip replacement implant is held into place using a special cement that can hold it in place until bone tissue grows around it.
In the press-fit method, the implant is held in place by pressing it to fit the area around the hipbone. This implant is affordable but does not last long. The metal alloys used include titanium, stainless steel, and cobalt chrome; prices vary depending on the metal used and the availability of the implant.