My 83-year old mother had a total hip replacement last week. The bone fractured and now she has to wait before trying again. What can be done to prevent this from happening again?
Doctors take every precaution to prevent fractures during joint replacement surgery. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable when the patient is severely osteoporotic (brittle bones). In order to prepare the thighbone (femur) for the joint implant, the doctor must cut out and remove some bone. This opens up the bone canal and makes room for the stem of the implant. Fracture can occur during this part of the operation. A certain amount of force must be used to cut away the bone. The doctor uses special tools to accomplish this task. The right size and shape is important. A recent study showed that a tool called the smooth tamp is more likely to cause hip fracture than the standard tooth broach. This information will help doctors reduce the risk of fractures in the future.