A partial hip replacement or hemiarthroplasty is a surgical procedure that involves replacing half of the hip joint. Hemi means ‘half’ and arthroplasty refers to ‘joint replacement’. In a total hip replacement, the damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with prosthetic materials. In simple terms, replacing the entire hip joint with a metal stem is called total hip replacement. A partial hip replacement is generally done to treat a fractured hip and it may be also be used by joint replacement surgeons to treat a hip damaged by arthritis.
If anyone has a fractured hip or serious hip arthritis, partial hip replacement surgery is recommended to restore healthy hip function. If the femoral head is fractured in an individual, but the acetabulum is unbroken or undamaged, you may be the right candidate for a hemiarthroplasty. Your doctor may recommend a THR, depending on:
- The health of your entire hip joint
- Your overall health
- Your expected life expectancy
- Your physical activity level
At an initial level, a joint replacement surgeon tries to manage your hip arthritis with physical therapy, pain medications and a reduction in activities that require less stress on the hip joint.
Hemiarthroplasty vs. Total Hip Replacement
A hemiarthroplasty is a procedure for the removal of only the femoral head that takes less time and less blood loss than a total replacement surgery. There may be a less chance of hip dislocation following a partial hip arthroplasty compared to a THR, too.
In a total hip arthroplasty does the replacement of both the femoral head and acetabulum. If the acetabulum is relatively healthy with little arthritis, a PHR may be the best option, especially among older people who aren’t active. Younger people may do better with a THR. In THR, you are more likely to have less pain, better long term joint function, and greater walking ability than a hemiarthroplasty.