Hip joint replacement is surgery to replace all or part of the hip joint with a man-made joint. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis.
Your hip joint is made up of 2 major parts. One or both parts may be replaced during surgery
The hip socket (a part of the pelvic bone called the acetabulum)
The upper end of the thigh bone (called the femoral head)
The new hip that replaces the old one is made up of these parts:
A socket, which is usually made of strong metal.
A liner, which fits inside the socket. It is most often plastic.
The liner allows the hip to move smoothly.
A metal or ceramic ball that will replace the round head (top) of your thigh bone.
A metal stem that is attached to the thigh bone to anchor the joint.
You will not feel any pain during surgery. You will have anesthesia:
The most common reason to have this surgery is to relieve arthritis. Severe arthritis pain can limit your activities.
Most of the time, hip joint replacement is done in people aged 60 and older. Many people who have this surgery are younger. Younger people who have a hip replaced may put extra stress on the artificial hip. That extra stress can cause it to wear out earlier than in older people. Part or all of the joint may need to be replaced again if that happens.
Other reasons for replacing the hip joint are:
Fractures in the thigh bone. Older adults often have a hip replacement for this reason.Hip joint tumors.
- You can't sleep through the night because of hip pain.
- Your hip pain has not gotten better with other treatments.
- Hip pain limits or prevents you from doing your normal activities, such as bathing, preparing meals, doing household chores, and walking.
- You have problems walking that require you to use a cane or walker.
Before the Procedure
Always tell your health care provider what drugs you are taking, even medicine, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
On the day of your surgery:
You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure. Take the drugs your provider told you to take with a small sip of water. Your provider will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
You will stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days. During that time, you will recover from your anesthesia and from the surgery itself. You will be asked to start moving and walking as soon as the first day after surgery.
Outlook (Prognosis) Hip replacement surgery results are often excellent. Most or all of your pain and stiffness should go away.
Some people may have problems with infection, loosening, or even dislocation of the new hip joint.
Over time, the artificial hip joint can loosen. This can happen after as long as 15 to 20 years. You may need a second replacement. An infection can also occur. You should check with your surgeon periodically to ensure your hip is in good condition.