Dr Tang Ha Nam Anh, head of the trauma and orthopedics department at Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital, told Vietnam News that techniques for hip replacement had been developed in the country for the last 10 to 15 years.
Many new advanced hip replacement prostheses are being used for serious intertrochanteric fractures, a break in the upper quarter of the femur bone, Anh said.
The patients with these prostheses, most of whom are elderly, are able to get out of bed after one day after surgery. “Two days later, they can walk,” he said.
With existing traditional hip replacement prostheses, patients with the same kind of fracture often have to repeat the operation within a year because of a loosened prosthesis, according to Anh.
“A second surgery is dangerous for these patients because of their age and they suffer from other diseases, which raises the risk of dying during surgery,” he added.
Femur and intertrochanteric fractures are common among seniors because of osteoporosis.
The fractures leave patients with prolonged immobilisation or inactivity, which can reduce function, including loss of motion of the lower joint extremities and muscle atrophy.
Prolonged bed rest can also lead to ulcers on the body, which can cause serious infections that could lead to death.
In addition, prolonged immobilisation causes other complications such as pulmonary embolisms from deep vein thrombosis.
Anh said these fractures often occurred among women because they get osteoporosis earlier than men.
Dr Pham The Hien of the trauma and orthopedics department at Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital said that every week at least one or two patients had hip replacement surgery at the department.
Last month, the department used a new advanced hip replacement prosthesis for a 75-year-old patient from HCM City who had a serious intertrochanteric fracture due to a fall.
Anh said that many hospitals in the country, including district-level hospitals in HCM City, perform hip replacement surgeries.
In February, HCM City’s District 11 Hospital performed its first hip replacement operation on a 98-year-old patient with a broken hip bone from Binh Thuan province.
Doctors at District 11 Hospital, Thu Duc Hospital and District 2 Hospital are trained by city- or central-level hospital experts.
Many training centres, including Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital and HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy, provide instruction in hip replacement surgery for local doctors to raise their qualifications.
The training has improved the level of effectiveness, Anh said, adding that techniques used by the country’s doctors are the same as those applied in other countries.
Moreover, the price for hip replacement surgery in Vietnam is cheaper than the same operation in many other countries, he added.