Is There Such a Thing As Partial Hip Replacement?

Hip replacement surgery is a very common joint replacement procedure that many people get every year. It fixes a damaged hip joint that no longer functions the way it’s supposed to because of deterioration, a fracture, or some other type of problem at the joint. Most people know that a hip replacement means that the hip is replaced.

But did you know that there is such a thing as a partial hip replacement? This procedure is similar to a total hip replacement, but there are some significant differences between the two. Let’s take a look at what exactly a partial hip replacement surgery is, how it’s different from a total hip replacement procedure, and how to determine if you are the right candidate for it.

Partial Hip Replacement

A partial hip replacement procedure (hemiarthroplasty) is performed when the hip joint is not functioning as intended. The hip joint is made up of a femoral head of the femur bone (similar to a ball shape) and an acetabulum (similar to a socket). The femoral head fits into the acetabulum so the joint can function adequately. So how do doctors determine if a partial hip replacement procedure or a total hip replacement procedure is needed? The answer depends on the type of injury or damage your hip joint has suffered.

When an injury happens that damages the femoral head of the femur bone, but the acetabulum is perfectly intact with no damage, a partial hip replacement may be recommended. A total hip replacement addresses damage, deterioration, injury, or malfunction in both the femoral head and the acetabulum. While a total hip replacement can address an issue with either the femoral head or the acetabulum (or both), a partial hip replacement addresses issues with the femoral head only.

Benefits of a Partial Hip Procedure

Partial hip replacement procedures are beneficial for the following reasons:

  • less surgical time
  • less physical area affected
  • less blood loss
  • less recovery time
  • less pain

Are You the Right Candidate?

Determining if you are the right candidate for a partial hip replacement surgery depends on several factors.

Type of Injury

First and foremost, the type of injury you have determines what type of hip replacement procedure a surgeon recommends for you. If you have damage to both the femoral head and the acetabulum, you will need a total hip replacement procedure. If you have damage only to the femoral head, your surgeon may recommend a partial hip replacement instead.


Partial hip replacements are often recommended for older patients, and those with chronic, high-risk medical conditions, because of less blood loss and less surgical time required for this type of procedure.

Overall Health

Your overall health also matters when determining which procedure is right for you. Since a total hip replacement is a bigger procedure requiring more surgical and healing time, it impacts the body a lot more than a partial hip replacement does. A healthier patient can handle a total hip replacement procedure better, so someone with more health issues would do better with a partial procedure.

Physical Activity

Likewise, partial hip replacement procedures are better suited for individuals who are less physically active and will not put significant strain on the joint for the remainder of their lives. A total hip replacement is better suited for younger and more active individuals because it offers better long-term function.

Orthopedic Experts in Michigan

If you are interested in learning more about hip replacement procedures and want to know which one is a better option for you, talk to a reputable and experienced orthopedic surgeon. The experts at Movement Orthopedics in Clinton Township, Michigan, have a wealth of experience treating hip joint pain through a variety of means including hip replacement surgery.

To learn more about how best you can treat your hip joint problems, call (586) 436-3785 to make an appointment at Movement Orthopedics today. You can also request an appointment online.

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