History of the Hip Replacement

ThinkstockPhotos-516732975One of the most common orthopedic procedures performed today is a total hip replacement (THA) .  This procedure is often suggested for patients who have extensive deterioration of the hip joint and whose quality of life is suffering. It was first developed in 1891 by a German physician, Themistocles Gluck, who described using ivory to replace the femoral heads. Early in the 20th century surgeons experimented with different types of tissues as a way of smoothing out deteriorating articular hip surfaces. Some of these tissues that were used were skin, and pig bladder submucosa.
In 1925 an American surgeon, Marius Smith-Petersen, first used hollowed out glass placed over the femoral head. Later on this same surgeon started to experiment with stainless steel.  In the early 1960’s, Sir John Charmley, an orthopedic surgeon in England, developed a hip replacement that uses three components: a stainless steel femoral head, a polyethylene acetabular socket and acrylic bone cement.  This is considered to be a low friction arthroplasty and is the one most commonly used today.
Today hip replacement surgery is done routinely on tens of thousands of patients a year. It is one of the most commonly performed orthopedic procedures and has greatly improved the quality of life for the patients.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon at Jamaica Hospital to discuss whether a hip replacement would benefit you, please call 718-206-7001.

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