Total Hip Replacement

SocketDuring total hip replacement, also known as hip arthroplasty, both parts of the hip joint are removed and replaced. Usually, a high-density plastic cup replaces the hip socket, a metal ball replaces the femoral head, and a metal stem is inserted to connect the ball with the bone shaft.

Total hip replacement is usually performed because of an arthritic condition, especially osteoarthritis. An orthopaedic surgeon may also recommend total hip replacement in the case of avascular necrosis, a condition in which the bone of the ball portion of the hip joint dies. A severe hip fracture or dislocation (often caused by a fall) may also require total hip replacement.

Most total hip replacement candidates are older than 55. For younger patients, partial hip resurfacing may be a viable solution for alleviating chronic hip pain. Partial hip resurfacing leaves more of your bone in place than total hip replacement.

What to Expect during Hip Replacement Surgery

Accident, injury and age can damage the hip, limiting its flexibility and making movement painful. The hip joint is basically a large ball-and-socket joint composed of two parts: the head of the thighbone, or femur; and the acetabulum, a cup-shaped bone in the pelvis. During hip replacement surgery, damaged portions of the hip are replaced with smooth, durable artificial surfaces to allow the joint to function properly.In evaluating total hip replacement, your surgeon will discuss several options with you, including:

  • Incision Type – Your surgeon may choose a less invasive procedure or one large incision;
  • Implant Type – Based on your case history, your surgeon may recommend a specific design or material (metal or ceramic) for the new hip; and
  • Cement or Cementless – Depending on your lifestyle, your surgeon may decide to use a cemented or un-cemented prosthesis. Without cement, the bone has a better chance of growing into the roughened hardware. Younger patients are often candidates for this option.