How is hip surgery performed?
During hip replacement surgery, the surgeon surgically removes the damaged bone and cartilage of the joint and replaces it with smooth, artificial implants - thereby eliminating painful bone-on-bone contact.
Almost all hip replacement implants consist of a four-part system:
- A hip stem, usually made from a biocompatible metal such as titanium, which is implanted down the shaft of the thigh bone (femur);
- A femoral head which sits on top of the hip stem and replaces the "ball" portion of the hip's "ball and socket" design; and
- A two-part hemispherical or "cup-like" component made up of a metal shell and a plastic liner that replaces the "socket" in which the femoral head sits.
- Once implanted, the new femoral head rotates inside the plastic liner to recreate the ball and socket movement of the original joint.
Important safety notes
Hip replacement surgery is intended to relieve hip pain and improve hip function. However, implants may not produce the same feel or function as your original hip. There are potential risks with hip replacement surgery such as loosening, fracture, dislocation, wear and infection that may result in the need for additional surgery. Longevity of implants depends on many factors, such as types of activities and weight. Do not perform high impact activities such as running and jumping unless your surgeon tells you the bone has healed and these activities are acceptable. Early device failure, breakage or loosening may occur if you do not follow your surgeon's limitations on activity level. Early failure can happen if you do not guard your hip joint from overloading due to activity level, failure to control body weight, or accidents such as falls. Talk to your doctor to determine what treatment may be best for you.