Custom-made hip replacements
A ‘custom-made’ hip replacement sounds amazing. An implant specifically designed for you personally, surely that must be best? In specific cases, this is the case. There are huge number of different hip replacement designs available, and that is one of the reasons why I use a range of different implants, as not one fits all. Therefore, however, the majority of patients do not need a custom-made implant, as there is likely a ‘standard’ option to fit them. This has many advantages. Each implant design has many different options and sizes, and although we tend to know almost exactly what we are going to use before surgery, now and again we need to use one size up, or one size down from the original planned. If we only have one ‘custom-made’ implant, and is a little too big, or a little too small, you are a bit stuck. This rarely happens, but it is a risk. We also know how implants behave and what their survivorship is. This means we can usually confidently tell you how long they are likely to last which is much harder when it is a ‘one-off’ design.
However, there are scenarios where patients may need a custom-made implant. Generally, this is when the patient has very unusual anatomy, where nothing ‘off the shelf’ is going to fit. Often those patients are born with hip problems and may have had a lot of surgery as a baby or a child to try and correct it. This can lead to distorted anatomy and therefore may well need a custom-made implant. In this scenario, they are very helpful and can make complex surgery much easier and less complicated.