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.
Moreover, surgeons most often perform the surgery 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). Surgeons frequently use special surgical cement to secure the artificial joint in place.
Sometimes in younger, more active patients, surgeons use a non-cemented type of prosthesis. Further, the design of the prosthesis allows the bone to grow into and integrate with the porous surface of the implant. In some cases, surgeons use a combination of a cement ball and a non-cement socket.
The video below is a general demonstration of a traditional hip replacement procedure. Learn about the anterior approach in hip replacement surgery.