Hip Replacement Overview

The hip joint is made up of a ball-and-socket. The socket is made of bone and cartilage, and the ball is the top of the thighbone, also known as the femoral head.

Hip replacement surgery is an operation used to replace the damaged ball-and-socket with new and durable artificial synthetic parts that mimic the ball-and-socket.

Sometimes, either the socket of the hip or the thighbone is injured or becomes diseased. This can result in pain, trouble with walking, or difficulty with everyday tasks. You may have already tried pain relief methods such as medications, physical therapy, supports, or braces. If the pain doesn’t subside, your doctor may recommend hip replacement surgery.

Who Needs a Hip Replacement?

The replacement hip is made up of four components:

  • a metal socket
  • a liner to help the ball move easily within the socket
  • a metal or ceramic ball to replace the femoral head
  • a metal rod used to stabilize the thigh bone to which the ball is attached

There are different options of joint prosthesis. Most surgeons use uncemented joint prosthesis, which allows bone to grow into the prosthesis over time.

A cemented prosthesis, on the other hand, is attached to the hip with bone cement for quicker adhesion. While both options have similar success rates, they have differences in terms of recovery.

Uncemented joints take longer to attach to the bone, so the recovery time is longer. Cemented versions, while quicker, are best used for older adults or for people who are not as active.

Another option to consider is a muscle sparing hip replacement. Unlike traditional hip surgery, this procedure spares cuts through the muscles, which reduces pain and recovery time.

Muscle sparing procedures are commonly performed through anterior or posterior. The main difference between anterior and posterior is the location of the incision. Anterior incisions are made in the front by the upper thigh, while posterior incisions are made in the back of the hip.

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