Hemiarthroplasty / Partial Hip Replacement

X-ray showing femur neck (hip) fracture on 80 years old gentleman for whom Dr. Samuel performed Cemented Partial Hip Replacement.

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint. The socket is called the acetabulum and forms a deep cup that surrounds the ball of the upper thigh bone, known as the femoral head.

The blood supply to the femoral head (the ball portion of the hip) comes through the neck of the femur (femoral neck), a thinner section of the thigh bone that connects the ball to the main shaft of the bone.
When this part of the thigh bone is broken and displaced the blood supply will be interrupted. The chance of blood supply returning when the fracture is repaired back in older people (usually older than 50years) is lower.
Damaged blood supply to the ball part of the hip can lead to the ball part to the thigh bone dying, also known as Avascular Necrosis (AVN).

In many cases, the risk of developing AVN is so high that we do not suggest trying to fix the fracture. Instead, the femoral head can be removed and replaced with an artificial piece, called a prosthesis. This is suggested because fixing the fracture carries a high chance that you will need a second operation later if the broken part does not heal or the femoral head dies due to AVN.

The metal ball of the hemiarthroplasty prosthesis can glide against the cartilage of the hip natural socket surface. This procedure is easier to do than replacing both the ball and the socket, and it allows patients to begin moving right away after surgery. This makes partial hip replacement a preferred choice in the elderly and those with related comorbidities.
A fracture of the hip in an aging adult is not simply a broken bone, it can result in life-threatening complications. Early surgery and movement help prevent these dangerous sequels that come from being immobilized in bed.

Dr. Sami performs hemiarthroplasty surgery with a minimally invasive technique called anterior approach, using the American brand artificial parts. The majority of our clients are typically stabilized and operated on as soon as their medical condition allows within 24-48hours of their fracture. Most of our patients go home after 2 nights of hospital stay following surgery.

It is important to have a good discussion with Dr. Sami about whether the operation is right for you or not, as well as the different available options of treatment. You can further discuss, about detailed risks and benefits of the surgery. To understand further about the management of femur neck fracture prevention and treatment, you can see Dr. Sami’s educational video below.

All surgical procedures have risks associated with them. The decision to proceed with the surgery basically comes down to a discussion around whether the risks are worth taking, or not. To understand the option of management, see Dr. Sami’s interview on Ethiopian National Television.

Compiled and written on June, 2021. By Dr. Samuel Hailu.

*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is for educational purposes only. This should NOT be used in place of a visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your healthcare provider because of any information you read on this topic.