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  • Dec 02, 2019

What is Total Hip Replacement? Difference Between Hemiarthroplasty vs Total Hip Replacement?


Hip Replacement or Hip Arthroplasty is a process of placement of prosthesis either in pelvis or femur. The surgeons can use cement to fix the prosthesis or do without it. Hip Replacement is for patients who are suffering from arthritis or chronic pain.

The pain is so acute that it becomes a problem for the patient to carry out daily activities. The orthopaedic surgeon customizes the surgical process for each and every patient. It is because every person suffers from a different issue. Hip Replacement is a great relief for patients who are suffering from pain. However, the surgery involves certain complications and risks directly or indirectly.

Reading the blog will give you complete acknowledgement about Hip Replacement. You will get to know about:

  • Type of Hip Replacement.
  • The difference between types of Hip Replacements and more.

What Is Total Hip Replacement?

The surgical process of replacing the damaged or diseased bone and cartilage of a hip joint with artificial staple is known as Total Hip Replacement.

Total Hip Joint Replacement is basically referred to as a ball and socket joint. Wherein, the socket is a cup-shaped material made up of metal or plastic. The doctor fixes the cup-shaped component in the pelvis and it is called acetabulum. Now, talking about the ball it is nothing but the head of the femur or thighbone. The medical professional removes the original or diseased socket and ball. He replaces it with an artificial metallic ball along with a stem.

Use of metallic ball and stem for Hip Replacement is known as femoral prosthesis. While making use of plastic cup socket for the same is known as acetabular prosthesis. Fixing of the central core of the femur requires the use of bony cement.

The surgeon opts for cementless fixing where bony ingrowth is possible. The femur stem starts to grow with the help of microscopic pores. The cementless replacement is more effective and lasts longer. Cementless replacement is done in both young as well as adult patients. This process offers them relief for a longer time.

Total Hip Replacement is also called total hip arthroplasty. A patient does not require total Hip Replacement every time. In certain cases, it is possible to solve the problems with the help of Hemiarthroplasty.

What Is Hemiarthroplasty?

There exist not much difference between the total Hip Replacement and Hemiarthroplasty. The process for Hemiarthroplasty is similar to total hip arthroplasty. The only difference is it involves half of the hip joint. Hemiarthroplasty means the replacement of half of the hip joint. Orthopaedics generally use this process to fix the fractures in the hip joint.


Carrying out a surgical process on the hip to replace the damaged part of the hip that is only the ball and not cartilage is referred to as the Hemiarthroplasty.

Just like the ball and the socket joint is the main focus in the total Hip Replacement, hemiarthroplasty works on the same concept. The difference being the hemiarthroplasty deals in changing the ball portion of the hip joint.

The original socket of the hip joint remains in place. The doctor fits the ball into the socket and the movement of the hip joint get backs to normality.

Now, the biggest question is when to consider total Hip Replacement and when can you choose Hemiarthroplasty?

Conditions To Opt For Total Hip Replacement:

  • When the condition of arthritis gets worse with unbearable pain, the situation calls for Total Hip Replacement.
  • Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Arthritis is the most common condition that requires a total hip replacement. This type of arthritis is seen in the people with a congenital abnormality, prior trauma, and ageing.
  • Apart from the above-mentioned conditions, some other reasons to go for Total Hip-replacement are:
  • Aseptic Necrosis or Complete Damage of the hip joint.
  • Bony fracture and
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • The cause for Aseptic Necrosis or the death of the hip joint are:
  • Multiple fractures of the hip.
  • Drugs.
  • Alcohol and
  • Some of the systematic diseases.

All the conditions stated above leads to a lot of issues in the movement of the body. You can face problems with sitting, walking, sleeping, walking up and down the stairs etc. It is nearly impossible to do Daily chores with such a disability and the only solution is total Hip Replacement.

It is because it gets very difficult to treat the situation with medication and therapies. The pain in these conditions gets entirely irresistible and unbearable. However, after the surgery, medication, physiotherapy and exercises all are important. One cannot achieve complete recovery without the help of post-surgery measures.

In What Conditions You Can Consider Hemiarthroplasty Over Total Hip Replacement?

The blood supply to the femoral head of the hip joint comes from the femoral neck. It is responsible for connecting the hip joint and main shaft of the bone. Now, if in any condition there is damage to the connecting nerve then it may cause the interruption of the blood supply.

Such a situation can lead to numbing of the hip joint and this leads to improper body movements. As the shaft of the body has no damage so the doctor replaces only the ball of the hip joint. So, the treatment is possible by Hemiarthroplasty and there is no need for Total Hip Replacement.

Hemiarthroplasty is a choice for patients in the conditions details as follows:

  • The condition that requires correction of Fracture in a hip joint immediately, is possible with the help of Hemiarthroplasty.
  • If the fracture involves the damage of the femoral neck and there is a risk for the avascular necrosis. In this case, the doctor can fix the fracture temporarily. A permanent solution is possible only with the help of replacement of femoral head. Hemiarthroplasty carries out the cementless replacement of the femoral head. This process gives a permanent solution to the problem.

So, basically in all the situations of fractures that need surgery or replacement, Hemiarthroplasty is taken into consideration. It is carried out mostly in youngsters. The proceedings of Hemiarthroplasty is possible without using cement and has a longer life. 

Hemiarthroplasty is similar to total Hip Replacement, yet there are certain differences. Let’s check them out.

Difference Between Total Hip Replacement And Hemiarthroplasty:

Although, both the hip replacement procedures, hemiarthroplasty and Total Hip Replacement requires removal of the deceased or damaged hip yet there are certain differences. The causes may vary and also the procedures fix the issue. Let us consider some of the markable differences:


Considerably, there is a difference between the time taken for completing the Total Hip Replacement and hemiarthroplasty. Hemiarthroplasty can be completed in comparatively less time.

Blood Loss:

If we talk about total Hip Replacement there is enough loss of blood. It is not the case with hemiarthroplasty. The blood loss in case of hemiarthroplasty is very less.


When a person takes up with Total Hip Replacement, there are more chances of dislocation of the hip. However, taking up with Hemiarthroplasty highly reduces the chances of hip dislocation. So, the result of surgery will last for a longer time.


The results of hemiarthroplasty are better where the acetabulum of the person is strong and there is less damage due to arthritis. Also, the patient has to bear less pain.

Hemiarthroplasty is effective for both the active and not so active people. That is for the young and the old. For aged people who do not move much, Total Hip Replacement can be a complete failure.


Results of THR or Total Hip Replacement are good for active people. Youngsters with acute pain and high level of arthritis can take up with Total Hip Replacement. It will obviously give them the best results, relief in pain, normal walking functionality, in short, a second innings with no pain or problem. Hemiarthritis does not provide very good results for a high level of arthritis.

In most of the cases, Hemiarthritis fail for youngsters where there is greater damage to the hip. Only Total Hip Replacement is the solution to this.

The Course Of Time:

Total Hip Replacement is generally carried out when the problem in the hip has developed over a considerable duration of time and not immediately. The case is completely opposite for Hemiarthroplasty. Hemiarthroplasty is the choice of doctors when the fracture in the hip is due to an injury or accident.

Preparation Of Surgery:

Just like the time taken for Total Hip Replacement surgery is more, the time consumed for preparation of surgery is also more. Hemiarthroplasty can be carried out immediately without much time required. The preparations of the surgery can also be done immediately.

Recovery Time:

After the surgery of Total Hip Replacement, the patient has to stay in the hospital for a minimum duration of a week whereas the person who takes up with hemiarthroplasty can get back to home within 72 hours.

The post-surgery care is important in both the cases that are total Hip Replacement and the hemiarthroplasty. However, the recovery time can be different in both cases.

During the recovery time, the patient has to take up with proper medication, physiotherapy, exercises, movements etc. in order to achieve the desired results. Recovery time for Total Hip Arthroplasty can be over a month while the recovery of hemiarthroplasty is possible in much lesser duration.

Just like any of the surgery, there are complications involved in both the total Hip Replacement as well as the hemiarthroplasty. Let us know what are they?

Complications Involved With Hip Replacement Surgery:

The success rate of hip replacement surgery is high. Although, certain cases fail due to the complications involved with the surgical process while some other calls for reprocessing. Continue to read to know the complications involved with the surgery before you take up with the process.


The first and foremost thing involves with Hip Replacement Surgery is an infection. Although, only 1% of the patients suffer from infection after the surgery if it happens the consequences can be dangerous. The infection may spread to the entire hip. In such cases, there may be a requirement to perform the operation all over again. Infection in a patient can be detected within a week post surgery.

Blood Clotting:

The surgeries on leg and hip involve risk. It is because such surgeries may lead to clotting of blood in certain nerves or veins. These blood clots are the biggest hindrance to the circulation of the blood. Improper blood circulation leads to

  • Paralysis in legs.
  • Severe lung and heart disease.
  • Liver issues and much more.

However, this complication occurs not due to surgical consequences but as a result of post-surgical ignorance. If the patient starts moving soon after the surgery, there is a minimal chance for the formation of a blood clot.


The connection between the bone and the shaft loses after certain years of surgery. It happens for both hemiarthroplasties as well as the THRFor hemiarthroplasty, the lasting is longer. In the case of Total Hip Replacement, the duration of loosening is comparatively less.

For hemiarthroplasty, the loosening can be seen after the efficient working of 12 to 15 years. But the THR lasts only for the span of a decade. Loosening can be really a painful condition and requires immediate attention. This condition calls for the surgery over again.


The write up clearly indicates all the details about the hip replacement. It covers the difference between the THR and Hemiarthroplasty. One should know all the facts about THR and Hemiarthroplasty before taking up with the surgery.

No matter the condition or cause may vary from one patient to another. In case of any confusion, your orthopaedics can be of great help. Do not take up with heavy physical activities. Try to give up on running, climbing, swimming etc. It is important in order to improve the lasting of the surgery.

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