Search

Services

Total Joint Replacement

Description

In a total hip replacement (also called total hip arthroplasty), the
damaged bone and cartilage is removed and replaced with prosthetic
components.

  • The damaged femoral head is removed and replaced with a metal stem
    that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The femoral stem may
    be either cemented or “press fit” into the bone.
  • A metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem. This ball replaces the damaged femoral head that was removed.
  • The damaged cartilage surface of the socket (acetabulum) is removed
    and replaced with a metal socket. Screws or cement are sometimes used to
    hold the socket in place.
  • A plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.

Is Hip Replacement Surgery for You?

The decision to have hip replacement surgery should be a cooperative one 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.

Candidates for Surgery

There are no absolute age or weight restrictions for total hip replacements.

Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient’s pain and disability, not age. Most patients who undergo total hip replacement are age 50 to 80, but orthopaedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Total hip replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.

When Surgery Is Recommended

There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend hip replacement surgery. People who benefit from hip replacement surgery often have:

  • Hip pain that limits everyday activities, such as walking or bending
  • Hip pain that continues while resting, either day or night
  • Stiffness in a hip that limits the ability to move or lift the leg
  • Inadequate pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or walking supports

The Orthopaedic Evaluation

An evaluation with an orthopaedic surgeon consists of several components.

  • Medical history. Your orthopaedic surgeon will gather information about your general health and ask questions about the extent of your hip pain and how it affects your ability to perform everyday activities.
  • Physical examination. This will assess hip mobility, strength, and alignment.
  • X-rays. These images help to determine the extent of damage or deformity in your hip.
  • Other tests. Occasionally other tests, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, may be needed to determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues of your hip.