Hip Replacement/ Hip Arthoplasty
Hip replacement surgery, or total hip arthroplasty, is a procedure performed to remove a diseased or severely damaged hip joint and replace it with an artificial joint, or prosthesis. The artificial prosthesis may be composed of metal or ceramic, and have a socket lined with plastic, ceramic, or metal. The prosthesis is specifically designed so that the body will not reject it. It is also made to resist corrosion, degradation, and wear over time.
The hip is a ball and socket joint where the “ball” is linked at the head of the femur, or thigh bone, with the cup-shaped “socket” in the pelvic bone.
Conditions that can severely damage the hip and lead to hip replacement surgery need include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and a broken hip. Also, a bone tumor of the hip, and osteonecrosis, which occurs when there is inadequate blood supply to the ball portion of the hip joint, can severely damage the hip.
Signs & Symptoms
The presence of the following signs and symptoms may lead you to consider being evaluated by your physician for a hip replacement procedure. Symptoms include pain that prevents you from sleeping, little or no relief from pain medications, difficulty walking up or down stairs, trouble getting up from a seated position, and having to avoid activities you enjoy because the pain is too intense.
First, an incision is made over the side of the hip and buttocks to expose the hip joint. Damaged cartilage and bone is then removed.
Next, an artificial socket, usually composed of plastic, is inserted into the pelvic bone to replace the hip socket. The top of the thigh bone is cut and removed. A round prosthetic ball composed of metal or ceramic is then set in its place. A metal stem is attached to the thigh bone, linking it with the prosthetic ball.
The artificial hip can be set in place with either synthetic cement or natural bone-in growth. Hospital stays after this procedure range from four to eight days.