Advances in Knee Replacements

This new design allows surgeons to preserve the important central ligaments of the knee called the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. This design should allow a knee replacement to move, respond, and feel more like a normal knee.

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The Anterior Hip

Patients are being told by both surgeons and orthopedic implant companies that Anterior Hip Replacement approach offers something unique and different compared to other approaches. This is a flatly untrue, unscientifically supported myth...

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Outpatient Joint Replacement

With Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery, patients are able to return home the same day as the procedure. Patients also begin physical therapy within hours of surgery.

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Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement in Portland, OR

Located at the intersection of the pelvis and femur, the hip enables walking, running, and standing, while also playing a primary role in overarching body weight support. As a result of this near constant function, the hip is highly susceptible to the development of osteoarthritis, as well as being one of the most common joints for replacement surgery.

Causes for Total Replacement

The hip is formed by the insertion of the femoral head (ball) into the pelvis bone (socket). The ball is covered with a thin layer of friction-reducing cartilage, which can wear down over time, causing significant pain and discomfort. In some cases, damage can be so advanced as to cause general immobility and disability.

Potential causes for breakdown of the hip joint include:

  • Reduction in blood supply
  • Osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Traumatic injury or infection

Symptoms are often progressive, leading to the gradual depletion of joint function and decline of physical ability. Based on the severity of your hip damage, Dr. James Ballard may recommend total hip replacement for both the alleviation of pain and restoration of mobility.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Hip wear-and-tear is often characterized by a dull, ache-like pain, which may be either constant or passive in nature. In addition, hip damage can result in more extensive physical discomfort, impacting the areas of your groin, upper thigh, lower back, or buttocks. In some cases, walking may result in the presence of a limp, requiring the use of a cane or other support for successful movement.

Symptoms of significant hip damage may include, but are not limited to:

  • Extensive pain in the hip and surrounding areas
  • Difficulty walking, dressing, or climbing stairs
  • Inability to reach your feet or ankles
  • Trouble sleeping due to discomfort

Beyond an examination of your physical symptoms, Dr. Ballard will likely employ an x-ray for a more in-depth assessment of cartilage damage, as well as the diagnosis of bone spurs or cysts. If needed, further tests, such as an MRI (magnetic resonance image) or CT (computed tomography) scan may be utilized.

Treatment and Surgery Options

Upon initial diagnosis, Dr. Ballard will likely recommend non-invasive approaches for symptom relief. In cases of less advanced damage, the following may prove effective:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen
  • Weight loss and nutritional therapies
  • Exercise plans and physical therapy

Should these efforts not produce the level of result desired, surgical intervention may be suggested for optimal damage correction and patient recovery. While traditional hip replacement operations are still popular, Dr. Ballard will utilize a minimally invasive technique whenever possible.

Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement

During the hip replacement surgery, Dr. Ballard will utilize one or two small incisions for the insertion of surgical tools and prosthesis components. The incisions are often 3-6 inches in length, as dependent upon patient weight, joint positioning, and damage severity. In most cases, minimally invasive approaches are most appropriate for younger and/or healthier patients with lower body mass indexes, allowing for quicker, more active recoveries.

Frequently reported benefits to this surgical approach include:

  • Reduced pain and muscle damage
  • Shortened recovery and rehabilitation times
  • Minimized cosmetic damage / scarring

Following your hip replacement procedure, Dr. Ballard will prescribe an approach for ongoing recovery and rehabilitation. A combination of drug and physical therapies will likely be recommended, as well as regular visits for medical observation. To ensure success, it is important to observe the prescribed regimen closely and notify Dr. Ballard immediately should any unusual or uncomfortable post-op symptoms arise.

An expert in general orthopedics, Dr. Ballard has a specialized interest in the minimally invasive techniques for hip and knee replacement. To schedule an appointment, contact his Oregon City, OR practice at (503) 656-0836.