Pediatric Hip Replacement
Degenerative hip joints, traumatic injury, and bone disease are not restricted to adults, they develop in children too. Whether a problem stems from overuse, tumors, infection, developmental bone changes, or congenital conditions, orthopedic surgical intervention treatment including pediatric hip replacement surgery for children in Los Angeles is sometimes necessary.
Yet, children require special consideration with surgery that some surgeons are not equipped to handle. The physical immaturity of their musculoskeletal systems presents issues of growing bones, growth plates, and undeveloped cartilage which require a unique skill set and technical expertise in pediatric surgery. You need a surgeon with specialized techniques who can minimize risk to delicate blood vessels, nerves, muscle, or bone. A surgeon like Dr. Daniel C. Allison, a Los Angeles expert in soft tissue and musculoskeletal structures, is best suited for the technically delicate surgery required in treating pediatric hip replacement.
What Causes Pediatric Hip Problems?
Children’s hip conditions originate for numerous reasons unrelated to injury. Unless a problem is visually noticeable, such as differences in leg length, it can be difficult to detect issues in children. Not until a physical examination from an expert orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Allison would a degenerative joint condition be revealed.
The primary causes of pediatric hip degeneration include:
- Hip dysplasia – malformation of the hip
- Bone cancer – primary tumors such as osteosarcomas or metastatic disease
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCD) – a rare childhood disease; insufficient or disruption of blood flow to the hip joint
- Avascular necrosis – death of the hip joint bone cells
- Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) – upper part of the thighbone (femur) shifts
- Osteomyelitis – bone infection
- Osteoarthritis – Inflammatory bone condition
Diagnosing and treating a pediatric hip replacement at an early stage is critical to prevent a problem from worsening and leading to a serious disability. For example, hip dysplasia will degenerate into arthritis or another severe joint problem in early adulthood.
What are the Symptoms?
Children typically experience symptoms such as the groin, pelvic, knee, or thigh pain with a tender, sore, or painful hip. A symptom could escalate and affect the manner of walking, managing stairs, and sitting. A child could even favor the injured side while sleeping. Pain could also be displaced and felt in the knee or thigh.
Identifying when your child feels the pain is helpful in isolating the source of the condition:
- Pain when resting – indicates less severe problem unless pain is persistent or disrupts sleep
- Pain with movement – indicates muscle injury, inflammation, or infection
- Pain with weight – bearing – indicates serious bone or joint problem
If you suspect your child has a degenerative hip condition, you need to consult with an orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Allison in Los Angeles. He would first conduct a thorough physical examination checking for hip and leg range of motion, evaluating muscle atrophy, examining leg length, and assessing pain level. X-rays will reveal whether there is any displacement at the head of the thighbone.
Once all diagnostics are performed, the best hip surgery treatment plan for your child will be developed.
Why Would a Child Need Hip Surgery?
A pediatric hip replacement surgery is an effective treatment that can help children return to their normal physical activities without any residual pain, inflammation, or stiffness. Dr. Allison often recommends a hip replacement surgery when a child has difficulty participating in their daily activities.
A hip surgery replacement may be the ideal choice to help with the following goals:
- Reduce pain
- Improve both functional movement and mobility
- Repair the degenerative bone
Pediatric Hip Replacement Treatment Options in Los Angeles
Several factors affect which treatment will be the best for your child. Treatment depends on the location, type, and severity of the condition, as well as a child’s general health, age, and physical health. Pediatric hip pain treatment is intended to eliminate or reduce pain, repair degenerative bone, and improve function and mobility.
Surgery is recommended when it is the only treatment to restore functionality to the joint. In hip replacement cases, Dr. Allison selects the best surgical method to accomplish this goal. The procedure he recommends may include realigning the pelvic and thigh bones, stabilizing ball and socket joint, removing excess bone or loose bodies, or reconstructing or replacing the hip joint.
Most importantly for his pediatric cases, Dr. Allison is dedicated to restoring normalcy to children’s lives so they can enjoy their childhood unburdened by physical limitation.
Innovations in Pediatric Hip Replacement
If a hip replacement is recommended, Dr. Allison an orthopedic oncologist in Los Angeles is an acknowledged leader in the direct anterior approach to joint replacement, and one of only a select few surgeons nationally with expertise in the procedure. The method uses a minimally invasive technique which offers the greatest potential in restoring mobility and function making it ideal for children. The results are less damage and trauma to the soft tissues around the hip and a quicker recovery time so your child can resume normal activities within weeks, not months, after surgery.
What is the Best Prosthesis for Hip Replacement?
There are different types of materials and designs that are currently used in artificial hip joints, but all of them will consist of two basic components: a ball (made of ceramic or a highly polished metal) and a socket (a durable cup made of metal, ceramic, or a strong plastic which may have a metal shell). These parts may be cemented to the bone, or a cementless prosthesis will be used (these parts have a porous coating that encourages the natural bone to grow into it). Daniel Allison MD, FACS will consider the child’s age, weight, severity of joint degeneration, and his own experience before making a recommendation as to which prosthesis is best for your child.
Can You Wait Too Long to Have a Hip Replacement?
If your surgeon has already recommended surgery, the risks associated with delaying the procedure may include increased pain, lack of mobility, and deterioration of the hip joint. Waiting too long can make the surgery more difficult to perform and may require more physical therapy afterward. Getting surgery during the optimal time will be most beneficial for your child. Dr. Allison can provide state-of-the-art pediatric hip replacement at his Los Angeles, CA medical center.