With advanced degenerative wear and tear arthritis the hip joint can deteriorate and begin to cause daily constant pain. Hip arthritis can develop from osteoarthritis, post traumatic arthritis, or other conditions such as avascular necrosis of the femoral head. Common activities such as walking, getting in and out of a chair or bed, and even putting on socks and shoes can become difficult due to hip pain and stiffness. You can even develop pain while at rest. When nonsurgical treatments are no longer helping to manage the pain, then consultation with a surgeon takes place to consider total hip replacement surgery.
The hip joint is one of the largest joint in the body and consists of a ball and socket joint. The socket is formed by the acetabulum, part of the pelvis. The ball is the femoral head, which is the upper end of the femur (thigh bone). The bone surfaces are covered with articular cartilage which is normally a smooth tissue that cushions the joint and enables it to move easily.
When is surgery recommended?
There are several indications for proceeding with total hip replacement surgery, also known as total hip arthroplasty (THA). Patients who may benefit from hip replacement surgery often experience:
- Hip pain that limits everyday activities, such as walking or bending
- Hip pain that continues while resting, either day or night
- Stiffness in a hip that limits the ability to move or lift the leg
- Inadequate pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or walking supports
What is total hip arthroplasty (THA)?
During hip replacement surgery, precise cuts are made to remove the femoral head and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow centre of the upper femur. Most often the femoral stem is “press fit” into the bone and bone ingrowth occurs to secure the prosthesis. A metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper stem to replace the damaged femoral head.
The worn-out cartilage surface of the socket is removed and replaced with a metal socket, occasionally screws are used to hold the socket in place, bone ingrowth occurs to secure this prosthesis. A high polymer plastic or ceramic spacer is inserted between the new ball and socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.
Over 90% of patients with hip replacement surgery report dramatic improvement in their symptoms with satisfaction of having had the procedure done.
Total Hip Replacement – OrthoInfo – AAOS
Total Hip Replacement Procedure – OrthoInfo – AAOS
Activities After Hip Replacement – OrthoInfo – AAOS
Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery – OrthoInfo – AAOS
Preventing Infection After Joint Replacement Surgery – OrthoInfo – AAOS
Preventing Blood Clots After Orthopaedic Surgery – OrthoInfo – AAOS
Obesity, Weight Loss, and Joint Replacement Surgery – OrthoInfo – AAOS
TJR Information Guide (pdf)