|The hip is one of the body’s largest weight-bearing joints. It consists of two main parts: a ball (femoral head) at the top of your thighbone (femur) that fits into a rounded socket (acetabulum) in your pelvis. Bands of tissue called ligaments (hip capsule) connect the ball to the socket and provide stability to the joint.The bone surfaces of the ball and socket have a smooth durable cover of articular cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones and enables them to move easily.
Normally, all of these parts of your hip work in harmony, allowing you to move easily and without pain.
The most common cause of chronic hip pain and disability is arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and traumatic arthritis are the most common forms of this disease.
Whether to have hip replacement surgery should be a cooperative decision made by you, your family, your primary care doctor, and your orthopaedic surgeon. The process of making this decision typically begins with a referral by your doctor to an orthopaedic surgeon for an initial evaluation.You may benefit from hip replacement surgery if:• Hip pain limits your everyday activities such as walking or bending.
• Hip pain continues while resting, either day or night.
• Stiffness in a hip limits your ability to move or lift your leg.
• You have little pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs or glucosamine sulfate.
• You have harmful or unpleasant side effects from your hip medications.
• Occasionally, blood tests or other tests such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging or bone scanning may be needed to determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues of your hip.
You will most likely be admitted to the hospital on the day of your surgery. Prior to admission, a member of the anesthesia team will evaluate you. The most common types of anesthesia for hip replacement surgery are general anesthesia (which puts you to sleep throughout the procedure and uses a machine to help you breath) or spinal anesthesia (which allows you to breath on your own but anesthetizes your body from the waist down). The anesthesia team will discuss these choices with you and help you decide which type of anesthesia is best for you.
The surgical procedure takes a few hours. Your orthopaedic surgeon will remove the damaged cartilage and bone and then position new metal, plastic, or ceramic joint surfaces to restore the alignment and function of your hip.
Many different types of designs and materials are currently used in artificial hip joints. All of them consist of two basic components: the ball component (made of a highly polished strong metal or ceramic material) and the socket component (a durable cup made of highly specialized plastic – polyethylene or ceramic.)
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