Hemiarthroplasty is an orthopedic surgical procedure that is used most commonly to treat a fractured hip. This procedure is employed for the treatment of certain femoral neck fractures where the femoral head is removed and replaced. The procedure is similar to a total hip replacement, but it involves only half of the hip. (Hemi means half, and arthroplasty means joint replacement.) The hemiarthroplasty replaces only the ball portion of the hip joint, not the socket portion. In a total hip replacement, the socket is also replaced.
Since the procedure is quicker and far less morbid than internal fixation, hemiarthroplasty is also routinely used in older, less active and comorbid patients who would not be good surgical candidates for total arthroplasty.
A hip hemiarthroplasty may be suitable for patients who have the fracture at the neck of the femur. In particular, when the fracture occurs at the location that is close to the hip joint, hemiarthroplasty is routinely employed. If the fracture is very close to the hip joint, the blood supply to the head of the femur may be disrupted. In certain cases, the fracture appears healed but the head of the femur will just crumble away due to lack of blood supply.