Hip Replacement Surgery
injury and age can damage the hip, limiting its flexibility and making movement
painful. The hip joint is basically
a large ball-and-socket joint composed of two parts: the head of the thighbone,
or femur; and the acetabulum, a cup-shaped bone in the pelvis. During hip replacement
surgery, damaged portions of the hip are replaced with smooth, durable artificial
surfaces to allow the joint to function properly.
There are two types of hip replacement surgeries: total
hip replacement and hip resurfacing.
An orthopaedic surgeon (a physician who specializes in joint and bone problems)
will advise you about which treatment is right for you based on your specific
Total Hip Replacement
During total hip replacement, also known as hip arthroplasty, both parts of the
hip joint are removed and replaced. Usually, a high-density plastic cup replaces
the hip socket, a metal ball replaces the femoral head, and a metal stem is inserted
to connect the ball with the bone shaft.
To view an animation of a total hip replacement
Total hip replacement is usually performed because of an arthritic condition,
An orthopaedic surgeon may also recommend total hip replacement in the case of
avascular necrosis, a condition in which the bone of the ball portion of the
hip joint dies. A severe hip fracture or dislocation (often caused by a fall)
may also require total hip replacement.
Most total hip replacement candidates are older than 55. For younger patients,
partial hip resurfacing may be a viable solution for alleviating chronic hip
In evaluating total hip replacement, your surgeon will discuss several options
with you, including:
Incision Type - Your surgeon may choose a minimally
invasive procedure or one large incision;
Hardware - Based on your case history, your surgeon
may recommend a specific design or material (metal or ceramic) for the new
Cement or cement-less - Depending on your lifestyle,
your surgeon may decide to use a cemented or un-cemented prosthesis. Without
cement, the bone has a better chance of growing into the roughened hardware.
Younger patients are often candidates for this option.
It is important for you to know that there is a big difference between standard
total hip replacement and partial hip resurfacing. The major difference is with
partial hip resurfacing - you should be able to return to your normal activities
with minimal to no restrictions. With total hip replacement you will have varying
For more information about Wright's total hip replacement products, click
here. To learn more about Wright's ceramic hip replacement options, click
Partial Hip Resurfacing
Unlike a total hip replacement, partial hip resurfacing leaves more of your
bone in place and does not require that the femur neck shaft be removed. During
the procedure, usually only the femur head is reshaped and resurfaced with an
artificial cap to help reduce pain and ensure joint stability. The chance
of subsequent hip dislocation is also lower in this surgery than in a total
Partial hip resurfacing is generally used as an alternative to total hip replacement
and is often suggested for active patients under the age of 55. Although patients
who undergo resurfacing may still require a total hip replacement at a later
date, this less traumatic procedure provides relief from chronic pain - and
allows patients to wait for new technological improvements to emerge in total
hip replacement materials and techniques.
For more information about Wright's partial hip replacement products, click
Read More: Benefits and Risks