Hip Joint Replacement
Alternate Names : Total Hip Replacement, THR, Total Hip Arthroplasty
Hip joint replacement is a surgical procedure to replace the hip joint. The new
joint is artificial and has 2 parts. The first part is the hip's socket,
called the acetabulum. This is a cup-shaped bone in the pelvis. The second part
is the "ball" or head of the femur, also called the thighbone.
These artificial parts together are called a prosthesis. The artificial socket
is often made of high-density plastic. The artificial ball, which is attached
to a stem, is usually made of a strong, stainless metal. The goal of the
surgery is to relieve pain and improve mobility and function in the hip joint.
Who is a candidate for the procedure?
This surgery is most commonly done to relieve severe arthritis, which can wear down the
hip joint. People with other conditions, such as injury, bone tumors, and
avascular necrosis, or a loss of bone caused by a lack of blood
supply, may also need a hip joint replaced. An individual is usually advised to
consider this surgery when the following conditions apply:
The pain is severe enough to restrict not only work and recreation but
also the normal activities of daily living.
The pain is not relieved by arthritis medications.
The person is not helped by the use of a cane or walker.
There is significant stiffness of the hip that limits activities.
X-rays show advanced arthritis or other severe problems.
How is the procedure performed?
The surgeon first removes the diseased bone and cartilage. Replacement pieces
are implanted into healthy areas of the pelvis and thighbone. These pieces are
then cemented in place.
One method does not require cement and is called cementless hip joint
replacement. This allows bone to grow into the prosthesis, and it may last
longer than a cemented hip. This can be an important advantage for younger
The surgery is usually done in the
operating room under general anesthesia, which means the
person is put completely to sleep. The procedure usually takes 2 to 3
hours to perform.