Hip Replacement

Hip Replacement Surgery Can Get You Back in Action

Most people sit down so they can relax. But for a person with a damaged hip, just getting in and out of a chair can be a daunting experience. Everyday activities–putting on shoes and socks, walking around the house or even resting–become painful and difficult. When conservative treatments such as physical therapy, splinting or bracing, anti-inflammatory medications, or steroids don’t provide sufficient relief, hip replacement surgery can relieve pain, increase motion, and improve quality of life.

The Anatomy of the Hip

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The socket is a part of the large pelvis bone called the acetabulum. The ball, called femoral head, is at the upper end of the thigh bone. Both parts are covered with a smooth tissue called articular cartilage, and a tissue called the synovial membrane surrounds the entire joint. In a healthy hip, the articular cartilage cushions the ball and socket and the synovial membrane secretes a small amount of fluid to lubricate the cartilage to keep the hip moving smoothly.

Total Hip Replacement

In a total hip replacement, the damaged femoral head is removed and replaced with a metal femoral stem. The prosthetic femoral stem is anchored into the inside of the femur bone and then capped with a metal or ceramic ball to replace the natural femoral head. The surgeon then removes the damaged surface of the socket, or acetabulum, and replaces it with a metal socket, which may be secured with surgical screws or bone cement.

A plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer inserted between the prosthetic ball and socket helps the new hip glide more smoothly. There are two approaches to total hip replacement, and our surgeons have had excellent results with both.

Hip Replacement Approaches

  • Posterior Hip Replacement
    Posterior hip replacement is the technique used by the majority of U.S. Orthopedic Surgeons, and it involves accessing the hip joint through an incision in the buttocks, sparing the major walking muscles (abductors).
  • Anterior Hip Replacement
    Anterior hip replacement is performed through the front of the hip area in order to avoid detaching the muscles from the femur or pelvis. This method has less of a possibility for hip dislocations and often provides faster recovery time.

Partial Hip Replacement

A partial hip replacement is indicated when only one part of the joint is damaged or diseased. In such cases, it is usually the head of the femur that needs replacing, while the acetabulum is left intact.