Hip arthritis typically occurs in adults aged 45 and older, when the cartilage that cushions the joint breaks down and eventually wears away. Characterized by pain and stiffness, severe cases can be profoundly debilitating.
If conservative treatments for hip joint pain fail to bring relief; if pain is impacting normal daily functioning and the ability to get a good night’s sleep, total hip replacement surgery (arthroplasty) may be recommended.
The surgery is most often performed under regional anesthesia. The surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone, then positions new metal, plastic or ceramic joint surfaces to reconstruct the joint.
An artificial joint is comprised of two basic components: the ball (made of a highly polished strong metal or ceramic material) and the socket (a durable cup of plastic or ceramic). Special surgical cement is frequently used to secure the artificial joint in place.
Sometimes in younger, more active patients, a non-cemented type of prosthesis is used. This prosthesis is designed so that the bone will grow into and integrates with the porous surface of the implant. In some cases, a combination of a cemented ball and a non-cemented socket is used.