Radiation Therapy – A Advantageous Treatment For Those Who Undergo Total Hip Replacements

On September 17, 2007, Nj Governor Jon Corzine went through just one radiation treatment to his hip area the morning of his hip substitute surgery. The reason ended up being to avoid the recurrence of the condition he incurred, after his shattered hip and thighbone were operated on after a car accident he sustained last April.

The problem is known as heterotopic ossification (hereafter known as HO). The function of radiation therapy with this non-malignant condition is comparatively unknown by many people but is very helpful.


HO may be the formation of rigid bone in places it does not belong, namely within the flexible muscles that surround the hip joint. It happens like a complication of total hip replacements, between 8-90% of times, by having an average occurrence rate of 40%.

HO could be identified on x-sun rays from the hip as soon as 3 to 6 days following the operation. However, its effects, for example hip discomfort and impaired joint mobility restricting the individual from climbing stairs, bending toward tie their shoelaces, and arise from a seat, usually take six to 12 several weeks to build up. The only real effective treatment for HO is re-operation, as with the situation of Governor Corzine. Pointless to state, it’s desirable to prevent this type of complication.

Who’s in danger?

Risks for HO include: male gender, quickly age 60, good reputation for severe osteo arthritis, joint disease from the hip following hip trauma, previous surgery on a single hip, and prior HO within the opposite hip.

So how exactly does HO occur?

Even though the mechanism isn’t obvious, one theory is: within the setting of hip trauma or surgery, bone tissue shed in to the surrounding muscle tissues. There, immature ligament cells mature into bone cells, which in turn multiply and form bone within the muscle.

How radiation therapy works

Radiation therapy disrupts producing DNA through the aforementioned immature ligament cells. Thus, cells cannot multiply and produce navicular bone where it doesn’t belong.

Good reputation for radiation therapy to avoid or decrease the chance of HO

Radiation therapy was initially accustomed to prevent or decrease the chance of HO within the 1970s. Using the emergence of recent technology, radiation therapy techniques have evolved within the decades.

For instance, previously, radiation therapy was delivered over a number of several treatments administered during the period of one or two days. Today, it is almost always administered in one dose.

Additionally, because the prosthesis (artificial hip joint) utilized in total hip substitute surgery has additionally improved within the decades, therefore the part of the hip that should be given radiation therapy following the operation has become smaller sized.

Timing of radiation therapy

You are able to that radiation therapy works well when it’s sent to prevent HO. This really is known as prophylactic radiation therapy. Radiation therapy isn’t advantageous once HO has ensued. Therefore, radiation therapy must be administered either within 96 hrs following the surgical procedures or within four hrs before surgery.

Radiation therapy for joints apart from the hip

Prophylactic radiation therapy can also be employed for other joints, like the elbow, wrist, shoulder and TMJ (the hinge joint from the jaw).


The incidence of HO decreases from typically 40% in people who don’t undergo radiation therapy, to fivePercent for individuals that do. This means a substantial benefit.


Theoretically, radiation therapy may cause cancer. However, to the current, no such complication continues to be documented within the medical literature.

Also, since the area that’s uncovered to radiation therapy is close to the reproductive organs, fertile individuals need to rehearse contraception for just one year. It is because radiation can cause genetic damage in sperm and eggs.

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