Common Hip & Knee Procedures

Common Hip Procedures

Total Hip Replacement

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A total hip replacement (THR) is performed in patients with severe wear and loss of cartilage in the hip joint due to injury, trauma or for various types of arthritis or other congenital or age-related changes to the hip joint.

In a traditional THR, the damaged head of the thighbone (femoral) and the damaged hip socket (acetabulum) are removed and replaced with metal, plastic, or ceramic components depending upon your unique needs and condition.

This was pioneered in the early 1960s with significant advancements made by our physicians and scientists here at MassGeneral.

Revision Total Hip Replacement

THR permit patients to participate in most activities of daily living in a pain-free manner for 10-20 years and sometime longer. Over time, the implants wear out and loosen, resulting in pain, stiffness or instability in your hip. Your doctor will compare a series of your x-rays to observe changes in implant position or condition of surrounding bone and decide if a revision surgery is necessary to replace the implants.

Hip Resurfacing

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Unlike traditional total hip replacement, in hip resurfacing, the femoral head is not removed but is instead trimmed, shaped and capped with a smooth metal covering. The damaged bone and cartilage within the socket is removed and replaced with a metal shell and plastic liner, just as in a traditional THR.

Hip resurfacing is only beneficial for a small number of patients with specific and unique needs. An evaluation by your orthopaedic surgeon will determine if you are a good candidate for hip resurfacing.

Common Knee Procedures

Total Knee Replacement

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Total knee replacement (TKR) is performed in patients with severe wear and loss of knee cartilage due to injury, trauma or inflammation, for various types of arthritis or other aging-related changes in the knee.

In TKR, the worn cartilage is removed and replaced with a combination metal and plastic implants.

Revision Total Knee Replacement

TKR implants have a normal life span of 10-20 years. With time, the artificial components also wear out and will need to be replaced in a “revision” TKR procedure. Implants may also need replacement for infection, pain or other factors as determined by your doctor.

Bilateral Total Knee Replacement

Bilateral total knee replacement means that both knees are replaced. Bilateral TKR may be performed simultaneously at the same surgery on the same day or staged with a wait of several days, weeks or months between the two procedures. This procedure is usually preformed in patients who have severe arthritis in both knees.

Uni-compartmental Knee

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In some cases, wear and tear of the knee or arthritis is confined to a single side of the knee. If your doctor determines it appropriate for your individual case, then only the damaged compartment of the knee may be replaced and the healthy part of the knee left alone. This is referred to as a Uni-compartmental knee replacement and only applicable to a small number of patients.

Because a uni-compartmental knee replacement is done through a smaller incision, the surgery is quicker, hospital stay is shorter and patients can rehabilitate and return to normal activities faster.

Content and photos courtesy of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.