Hip replacement surgery may be considered when arthritis limits your everyday activities such as walking and bending, when pain continues while resting, or stiffness in your hip limits your ability to move or lift your leg. Hip replacement may be recommended only after careful diagnosis of your joint problem. It is time to consider surgery if you have little pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs or if other treatments, such as physical therapy, do not relieve hip pain.
Hip replacement surgery involves replacing the femur (head of the thighbone) and the acetabulum (hip socket). Typically, the artificial ball with its stem is made of a strong metal or ceramic, and the artificial socket is made of polyethylene (a durable, wear-resistant plastic) or metal backed with a plastic liner. The artificial joint may be cemented in position or held securely in the bone without cement. The ball and insert are designed to glide together to replicate the hip joint.
For the vast majority of patients, joint replacement can be successful in providing relief from pain and improved mobility for many years. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, hip replacement procedures have been found to result in significant restoration of function and reduction of pain in over 90% of patients.2
Hip Replacement surgery helps more than 200,000 Americans each year to relieve their hip pain,1 and get back to enjoying normal, everyday activities.
1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website, http://www.aaos.org/research/stats/Joint_Replacements_all.pdf, accessed Oct. 2008.
2. NIAMS website, http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Hip_Replacement/default.asp, accessed Nov. 2008.