During hip replacement surgery, an orthopedic surgeon will remove damaged hip cartilage and bone, then position new metal, plastic or ceramic joint surfaces to restore the alignment and function of the patient's hip.
Essentially, hip replacement surgery involves replacing a diseased hip joint with an artificial joint. Hip replacement surgery can relieve pain, increase motion, and help a patient get back to enjoying normal, everyday activities.
The Leading Cause of Hip Pain
Hip arthritis is the most common cause of chronic hip pain and disability. Arthritis can severely limit daily activities, such as walking, bending and sitting down.
Three major kinds of hip arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis typically affects people older than 50. Cartilage cushioning the bones of the hip wears away; bones rub against each other.
- Rheumatoid hip arthritis is an autoimmune disease involving the synovial membrane, which makes a small amount of fluid that lubricates the hip joint. The membrane becomes inflamed and produces too much synovial fluid, which damages the articular cartilage.
- Traumatic hip arthritis can follow a serious hip injury. A hip fracture can cause avascular necrosis, which damages hip joint cartilage.
Alleviating Hip Pain with Hip Replacement Surgery
A hip replacement surgery procedure takes a few hours. An orthopedic surgeon will remove the damaged cartilage and bone, then position new metal, plastic or ceramic joint surfaces to restore the hip's alignment and function.
Artificial hip joints share two basic components:
- The ball component, made of a highly polished, strong metal or ceramic material.
- The socket component, a durable cup of plastic, ceramic or metal, which may have an outer metal shell.
Special surgical cement may be used to fill the gap between the prosthesis and natural bone, and to secure the artificial joint.
Younger, active patients with strong bone may require a noncemented prosthesis. This piece may be coated with textured metal or a special bone-like substance, which allows bone to grow into the prosthesis.
Making the Decision to Have Hip Replacement Surgery
See how John C. Hospitals provide advanced orthopedic care, from diagnosis to post-surgical rehabilitation.
Surgery may be necessary after conservative treatment options, such as anti-inflammatory medications, offer little pain relief.
Ultimately, the decision to have hip replacement surgery should be a collaboration between patient, family members, primary care physician and orthopedic surgeon.
An important factor in deciding whether to have hip replacement surgery in Phoenix, Arizona at John C. Lincoln is understanding what the procedure can and can't do. Most people who undergo hip replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction of pain and a significant improvement in their ability to perform daily activities. However, hip replacement surgery won't make a patient more active than before.
Also, even with normal use, an artificial joint can wear down gradually over time. If a patient participates in high-impact activities or are overweight, wear may accelerate, and the prosthesis could loosen and become painful.
What to Expect During Recovery from Hip Replacement Surgery
The hospital stay usually lasts a few days. Light activity is important to hip replacement recovery. Most hip replacement patients begin standing and walking, with a support, on the day after hip replacement.
A physical therapist will teach exercises that strengthen the hip and restore movement for walking and other activities.