Hamilton Health Sciences
Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip Replacement Surgery

Getting a new hip is major surgery and recovery takes time. With hard work you can get back to being active and enjoying life.

You may be anxious and excited as you wait for surgery. This is a good time to think about your feelings, lifestyle and habits, and make changes to help speed up your recovery. 

Why do I need a hip replacement?

Your surgeon will tell you why you are having a hip replacement.  One of the most common reasons to have a hip replacement is damage cause by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis or OA is a form of arthritis that causes the joints to wear out. Osteoarthritis usually affects the hips and knees and hip joint diagramcan result in pain, difficulty moving and eventually severe disability. Hip replacement surgery often provides a huge improvement in the quality of  life by reducing or removing pain, improving the function of the hip and making the hip more stable.  Click here to learn more about arthritis. 

How does the hip joint work?

The hip is a ball and socket joint. The top of the thigh bone or femur, is shaped like a ball. It is called the femoral head. This fits into the socket or acetabulum, which is part of the pelvis or hip bone. This is called the hip joint. The hip joint allows your leg to move forwards, backward, from side to side and turn in and out.

3 things help the hip joint work easily and without pain:
  • the smooth coating over the bones called cartilage

  • the slippery fluid inside the joint called synovial fluid

  • the muscles and ligaments which support and move the hip
2 things make the hip painful and hard to move:
  • the smooth coating over the bones gets rough and worn away

  • the muscles weaken

What is hip replacement?

hip replacement prosthesisYour surgeon removes the old hip joint and puts in a new joint. This is called a hip replacement or arthroplasty. Your new hip joint is made of  metal or ceramic and plastic. These new parts make the hip joint smooth again. There are 2 types of hip replacements:

  1. Total hip replacement- The damaged femoral head is removed and a new ball and stem is put into the thigh bone. A new hip lining is placed in the worn out socket of the pelvis.

  2. Hemiarthroplasty- Some people only need part of the hip joint replaced.

Your surgeon will tell you what type of hip replacement you need.

How is my new hip attached?

There are different ways that the surgeon will attach your new hip. The surgeon may use: cement, screws, a non-cemented type of substance or a combination of these.

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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