What is a Hemiarthroplasty?

HipA hemiarthroplasty is a half of a joint replacement.  “Hemi-“means half and “-arthroplasty” means joint replacement.  A hemiarthroplasty is a rare surgery that is only performed under unique circumstances.  Replacing half of a hip joint is usually done after rare traumatic injury in which the femoral head is fractured.  This can be achieved in high impact falls where the hip has become displaced and fractured.  Hip fractures are usually outside of the socket in the joint capsule, between the greater and lesser trochanter, or in the femur.

Do I Need a Hemiarthroplasty?

If you are asking the question do I need a hemiarthroplasty the answer is most likely no.  You may be having hip pain from degenerative conditions such as arthritis and would need to see an orthopedic specialist for management of the condition and possibly after all else fails a total hip replacement.  A hemiarthroplasty is a emergency condition specific to a very rare type of hip fracture.  If you need a hemiarthroplasty there is a good chance that you found out about it in an emergency room.

Hemiarthroplasty: The Procedure

During a hip hemiarthroplasty, an incision is made over the outside of the hip. The fractured ball (femoral head) is removed and replaced with an implant. In a normal hip replacement surgery, the socket of the pelvis would also be replaced. This can be done in patients with pre-existing arthritis of the hip, but in most cases of femoral neck fractures the socket is left alone. The prosthetic stem can be cemented into the bone in patients with thinner, more osteoporotic bone, or press-fit into patients with better bone quality.