Hip replacement surgery

Total Hip Replacement

Hips are one of the most common joints requiring replacement to achieve pain reduction and restored movement. Most commonly, hips are damaged by arthritis from degeneration (osteoarthritis), autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis) or traumatic-injury-related arthritis. In all cases, the cartilage cushioning the hip wears away, leaving bone to grind against bone, causing pain, stiffness and instability. Less frequently, hip damage is caused by insufficient blood flow to the area due to dislocation, fracture or disease, or by childhood hip disease.

Hip replacement may be indicated in cases where pain restricts daily activities such as walking, bending or lifting one’s leg, or when pain persists even while resting, and medication and physical therapy aren’t enough to provide adequate relief.

In a total hip replacement, injured bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with metal, ceramic and/or durable plastic components designed to feel like a healthy hip. The new socket replaces the worn socket in the pelvis, and a new femoral ball, which fits into and rotates within the socket, replaces the worn end of the femur (thighbone). 

There are two approaches to total hip replacement surgery: traditional, in which the surgeon approaches the area through the back of the hip, and anterior-approach, in which the surgeon approaches the area from the front.

Traditional Hip Replacement

This is the most commonly performed type of hip replacement. The surgeon enters the hip area through the side, removing damaged structures and replacing them with a prosthesis. Light activity is encouraged soon after surgery, typically within the first few days. Hospital stays are usually three days.

Anterior-approach Hip Replacement

Approaching the hip from the front requires less invasion into the surrounding muscles and ligaments, enabling faster healing and less pain. Patients are usually up and walking the day of or the day after surgery. This method requires the use of a specialized table and specific surgical training.