Dual Mobility Hip Implant: What Is It and Is It Right For You?

More than 300,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year. With technology constantly improving and allowing for surgery to be done on an outpatient basis, this procedure has become the gold standard for patients with advanced hip arthritis.

Some patients may be a candidate for a newer type of hip implant called ‘dual mobility.’ These new implants reduce the risk of dislocation and allow for a greater range of hip joint motion. They can be helpful for patients who want to return to activities such as Pilates, yoga, and even water skiing which are considered to be high-risk activities for dislocation, the most common cause of hip replacement failure in the U.S. A dual mobility implant may also be recommended for patients who are at high risk for dislocation of their hip joint for other reasons, such as those who have had spinal surgery, are very flexible before surgery, or have neurologic disorders such as Parkinson’s.

A hip replacement involves a ball and socket implant designed to mimic a natural hip joint. Components include a stem that inserts into the thigh bone, a ball that replaces the round head at the top of the thigh bone, and a liner for the hip socket. With the dual mobility hip, a large plastic head fits inside a polished metal hip socket piece, and an additional smaller metal or ceramic head is carefully fit within the plastic head.

Perfect Fit for a Pilates Enthusiast

Angelica Kodosky, 47, of Elmhurst, IL, discovered that she was a candidate for a dual mobility implant when her right hip pain prevented her from running, practicing yoga, and even walking normally.

“I’m a flight attendant and I was in Paris on a layover when I knew it was time to do something about my hip,” Kodosky explains. “I realized that I had eliminated all of my physical activities, including my favorite which is yoga, and was constantly hitting my hip when I walked or stood.”

She returned home and visited a chiropractor who wasn’t able to provide any relief. Then she tried a cortisone shot which helped for several months but the pain returned. A friend took her aside and suggested she talk to a surgeon about a hip replacement.

He recommended Dr. Craig Della Valle at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and Kodosky made an appointment right away. During their first meeting, she told Dr. Della Valle that her goal was to perform yoga again; to stretch and sit on the ground comfortably. “I explained that my biggest fear was that I would lose my hip flexibility and then he told me about the dual mobility implant. I connected with him right away,” Kodosky says.

Why It Makes Sense

“In patients like Ms. Kodosky, who want to return to activities like yoga which require high degrees of range of motion, a dual mobility implant can be an option to allow them to safely return to these activities” explains Dr. Della Valle. “It is important to understand that this implant does have theoretical risks, including a high risk of bearing surface wear. This is because it has two bearing surfaces as opposed to one and therefore may not be right for every patient. In general, a dual mobility implant is used selectively for patients who are felt to be at high risk for dislocation of their hip joint after surgery.”

Kodosky underwent a successful hip replacement surgery at the Munster Specialty Surgery Center in Northwest Indiana.

“I walked out of there the same day on crutches,” she explains. “It was crazy. No pain. I was in heaven.”

Six weeks later she was golfing. Three months later she was back to yoga and playing tennis. Today, six months later, she is doing Pilates and hiking. Later this year, she is looking forward to hiking with her husband to Acadia National Park, Tom’s Thumb, and Sedona for their 20th anniversary.

Kodosky credits Dr. Della Valle and his team with her successful outcome and encourages anyone who is considering a hip replacement to not wait. “You will be amazed at the mobility you will regain,” she says.

To schedule an appointment to discuss your hip or knee pain with Dr. Craig Della Valle, visit www.rushortho.com or call 877.MD. BONES.