Hip Replacement Surgery
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 can 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?
Your 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 3 types of hip replacements:
- 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.
- Hemiarthroplasty- Some people only need part of the hip joint replaced.
- Hip resurfacing- A new hip lining is placed in the worn out socket of the pelvis. The femoral head in not removed. A cap is put on the femoral head. Hip resurfacing is primarily done on a younger person who is more active. This provides an option to have a total hip replacement later on in life.
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.