Joint replacement surgery

Very advanced arthrosis or rheumatic diseases generally cause long-term pain and impaired walking, which interfere considerably with everyday life. This is what's known as a reduction in quality of life, since the pain markedly restricts the patient's activity. In these cases, joint-preserving conservative or surgical measures fail to have any effect and the natural joint has to be replaced with an artificial one - or endoprosthesis.

Diagram of a joint replacement

Modern endoprosthetics

The development of modern endoprosthetics over the last 30 years has given us access to implants that we can choose on an individual basis to replace destroyed joint surfaces or entire joints, depending on the patient's needs. Materials and designs have evolved to ensure products that last decades.

The restored ability to walk gives our patients a new quality of life with independence and returns their joie de vivre.

In-depth and personalised advice

We attach particular importance to in-depth and personalised advice for our patients, as well as the prompt planning of pre-op and post-op treatment as part of our comprehensive programme of care. The emphasis lies on careful preliminary investigations and personalised operation planning in order to achieve the best possible results. Personalised pain therapy, defined in conjunction with our anaesthetists and pain therapists, as well as gentle surgical procedures, where possible using minimally invasive access, allow early mobilisation and weight bearing after the operation.

Hip joint prosthesis

The hip joint is one of the joints subjected to the most stress in the human body. This is why it often develops wear and tear (arthrosis).

If it is no longer possible to alleviate symptoms with conservative methods or another type of surgical procedure, replacement of the destroyed joint with an artificial one, known as an endoprosthesis, can help. This needs to match the requirements and physical demands that the patient is likely to encounter. Because an artificial joint is intended to last a lifetime, the individual choice of endoprosthesis is particularly important. Since both parts of the joint - namely the cup and the femoral head - are affected by arthrosis, both need to be replaced.

The type of prosthesis we use is determined by the progression of the disease, the anticipated physical strain and the age of the patient.

X-ray of a hip joint prosthesis
X-ray of a hip joint prosthesis
X-ray of a hip joint prosthesis
X-ray of a hip joint prosthesis

Treatment details

Duration of treatment: approx. 1 - 1.5 hours
In-patient stay: generally 10 to 12 days. During this period, patients learn the important principles behind aftercare.
Protection time: a few weeks. Physiotherapy is usually required to strengthen the muscles and correct the previously disturbed gait pattern. After this, patients can walk correctly again without any walking aids and pursue their normal everyday activities.
Sports: possible even with an artificial joint. Personalised advice is required for this, however, so that the artificial joint is not excessively stressed.

Younger patients

In younger patients, we prefer surface replacement prostheses, which are commonly known as Cap prostheses. With this procedure, we do not remove the entire head of the femur. Instead we simply cover it with a metal cap. The advantage for patients is that a large proportion of the bone is retained. The long-term success of this solution depends on healthy and stable bone.

Short stem prostheses also represent a good alternative for younger patients, since they offer greater flexibility in terms of the choice of gliding surfaces in the joint. They are inserted with a titanium steel stem measuring only around 10 centimetres directly into the femur and then knit with the bone.

Older patients

If older patients still have a good bone structure, they can also be fitted with a cementless prosthesis. In this case, we use slightly longer titanium steel stems that are also precision-adapted to the bone and guarantee secure anchoring.

If the quality of the bone is reduced due to osteoporosis for example, the prosthetic stem is anchored stably in place using a synthetic glue known as bone cement.

Knee replacement

If the knee joint is so badly damaged by arthrosis or rheumatological conditions, for example, that conservative or surgical options are no longer capable of providing the required relief, the decision is then usually made in favour of an artificial joint. We choose the right replacement for each individual patient, depending on their requirements.

With knee replacements, a fundamental distinction is made between partial joint replacement - known as a sliding prosthesis - and complete joint replacement, known as a total endoprosthesis (TEP). With the former, only part of the joint surface is replaced, i.e. the most badly damaged area, which is usually the inner joint surfaces of the knee joint. Just what type of total endoprosthesis is used depends on how advanced the condition is.

If the ligaments around the knee are still stable, we generally only replace the joint surfaces destroyed by wear and tear with a surface replacement prosthesis. This is the best option for restoring the knee joint's natural mobility and protecting healthy bone structures.

If the wear and tear process has already caused marked instability of the knee joint, an axis-guided joint can be used to re-establish joint function and pain-free, safe walking. The prosthesis acts like a hinge, allowing movement of the knee and stabilising the joint to a large degree.

X-ray of a knee joint prosthesis
X-ray of a knee joint prosthesis
X-ray of a knee joint prosthesis
X-ray of a knee joint prosthesis

Treatment details

Duration of treatment: approx. 1.5 hours
In-patient stay: generally 12 to 14 days. During this period, patients learn the important principles behind aftercare.
Protection time: a number of weeks. Physiotherapy is usually required to strengthen the muscles and correct the previously disturbed gait pattern. After this, patients can walk correctly again without any walking aids and pursue their normal everyday activities.
Sports: possible even with an artificial joint. Personalised advice is required about this in order to avoid over-stressing the artificial joint.