During hip replacement, a surgeon removes the damaged sections of your hip joint and replaces them with parts usually constructed of metal, ceramic and very hard plastic. This artificial joint (prosthesis) helps reduce pain and improve function.
Also called total hip arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery may be an option for you if your hip pain interferes with daily activities and more-conservative treatments haven't helped or are no longer effective. Arthritis damage is the most common reason to need hip replacement.
Why It's Done
Conditions that can damage the hip joint, sometimes necessitating hip replacement surgery, include:
- Osteoarthritis. Commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis damages the slick cartilage that covers the ends of bones and helps joints move smoothly.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Caused by an overactive immune system, rheumatoid arthritis produces a type of inflammation that can erode cartilage and occasionally underlying bone, resulting in damaged and deformed joints.
- Osteonecrosis. If there is inadequate blood supply to the ball portion of the hip joint, the bone may collapse and deform.
You might consider hip replacement if you're experiencing hip pain that:
- Persists, despite pain medication
- Worsens with walking, even with a cane or walker
- Interferes with your sleep
- Affects your ability to go up or down stairs
- Makes it difficult to rise from a seated position
Consult with an orthopedic surgeon to determine if hip replacement is the right treatment for you. If you want to learn more about the process of hip replacement, you are welcome to come to one of our community lectures or register for our pre-operative joint replacement class.