According to the international specialized medical registries, osteoarthritis appears to be the most widespread joint disease in the world. Incidence of the pathology increases with age, therefore treatment techniques should be applicable to both young people and the elderly ones. When conservative measures fail to relieve a patient’s state, surgical joint replacement comes in handy.
Visualizing techniques as the basis of the diagnosis making
Hip osteoarthritis, or coxarthrosis, cannot be diagnosed with physical examination or lab tests. In order to confirm the hip osteoarthritis diagnosis, doctor needs to see the inner structure of the joint. Imaging is the most helpful option in this case:
- X-ray examination is an easy-to-perform and reasonably priced procedure. An X-ray shows a narrowing of joint space between the femur head and pelvic bone. Other osteoarthritis sign is the presence of osteophytes – bone spurs that normally arise during aging but can proliferate excessively and damage the joint. Radiographic hip osteoarthritis may also be revealed, when the radiographic changes are present but patient does not have any symptoms yet.
- MRI provides doctor with additional details, as it shows muscles, tendons, and ligaments along with bone structures. Due to the cost of MRI, it is mainly used in the controversial clinical cases, when simple X-ray examination cannot clarify the diagnosis.
Although laboratory tests are not informative for diagnostics, they are used for excluding other causes of the joint pain and inflammation, e.g. gout, infection or autoimmune process.
Working out the most beneficial treatment scheme
Coxarthrosis treatment pursues few aims:
- Eliminating or alleviating the pain syndrome.
- Managing the joint stiffness and swelling.
- Improving range of motions.
- Improving general fitness and muscles strength.
As a rule, doctors start from the less invasive conservative treatment options, like medications for pain management (NSAIDs, hyaluronic acid, steroids, platelet-rich plasma therapy, etc.), physical therapy and stretches, lifestyle modifications (changing diet, losing weight, exercising regularly, etc.), massage, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, etc. At the early disease stages, these are sufficient for the condition improving. When all other opportunities are exhausted, surgical treatment is considered.
Hip replacement procedure involves two basic options:
- Resurfacing of the pelvic part of the joint (acetabulum) and sparing processing of the femur head (McMinn surgery).
- Implantation of the artificial femur head and neck, replacing of all joint components (total hip replacement).
In patients with severe joint deformity, concomitant clinically significant osteoporosis or bone fractures, total arthroplasty is the preferred option. Otherwise, in young and physically active patients with preserved joint bone components, a surgeon may choose more sparing and prognostically beneficial McMinn surgery (superficial arthroplasty).
After the surgery, it is better to start rehabilitation program. First procedures start already in the hospital, right after the intervention. These are early mobilization, walking with a cane, and exercises under the guidance of rehabilitologist. Further, a patient may return home (therapist and/or nurse will visit him according to the schedule) or move to the rehabilitation facility.
Inpatient rehabilitation programs include physiotherapy, massage, and work with the physical instructor, nutritionist, and psychologist. Duration varies from few weeks to few months depending on the clinical situation.
Selecting the best clinics around the world with Booking Health
Patients, who are seeking the best healthcare institution for the hip surgery or rehabilitation program, need to remember few selection criteria:
- Excellent qualification of an orthopedic surgeon or rehabilitation specialist.
- Availability of high-quality implants.
- Presence of equipment for sparing and minimally invasive interventions, rehabilitation procedures.
- Thorough postoperative follow-up and pain management.
- Early rehabilitation and complete functional restoration.
Hip replacement and rehabilitation in Germany perfectly meets all the requirements. German doctors combine modern international protocols of treatment with own scientific developments. For instance, German orthopedic centers offer sparing hip resurfacing procedures with Prof. McMinn’s technique and joint restoration with stem cells.
If you do not have any experience of treatment abroad, it will be better for you to use the help of Booking Health. Booking Health is the certified medical tourism provider that arranges treatment of patients from 75 countries in specialized orthopedic hospitals and rehabilitation facilities.
Booking Health specialists provide a patient with information about recommended clinics, assist in visa issuing and preparing necessary documents, help in medical reports translation after returning back, etc. In addition, you will receive an advice in the financial questions (cost of treatment will be lower up to 50% due to exclusion of fees for the foreigners), services of the interpreter, transfer and accommodation arrangement, and support of personal manager 24/7.