Total joint replacement surgery is used to replace the ends of both bones found in an impaired joint to construct new joint surfaces. Total hip replacement surgery employs metal, ceramic, or plastic parts to restore the ball at the upper end of the thighbone and resurface the hip socket within the pelvic bone. The damaged cartilage is repaired and a camera is used to direct the surgeon’s actions. Doctors can attach replacement joints to the bones with or without cement. Cemented joints are adhered to the existing bone using a type of glue. Uncemented joints are secured using a porous coating which is created to allow the bone to connect to the artificial joint. Gradually, the new bone grows and fills up the gaps in the porous coating.
Some physicians are performing hip replacement surgery using smaller incisions. This is called minimally-invasive surgery. It can mean less blood loss and a less noticeable scar. However, it can also mean a prolonged time in surgery, since the surgery is more complicated. If the new hip is not fitted correctly through this option, the doctor may have to perform an open surgery. These operations will also require special equipment and training. Minimally-invasive surgery is not used for a hip replacement as often. Whether the procedure is a good idea for a patient will depend on the doctor's opinion and also on the extent of the damage.
Doctors suggest joint replacement surgery when hip discomfort and loss of function is especially severe and when medications and other options no longer alleviate the pain. The doctor will use an X-ray to look at the bones and cartilage in the hip to determine if the pain is coming from somewhere else. Total hip replacement is suitable for people who: