The Total Joint Center
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Total Joint Center Physicians
Total hip replacement is surgery to replace a hip joint damaged by wear, injury, or disease. This procedure is also called total hip arthroplasty (THA). The hip joint is a "ball and socket" joint and is your largest weight-bearing joint. The ball-shaped top of the femur (thighbone) sits in the acetabulum socket (hollow area) of the pelvic bone. The joint is held together by ligaments and muscles. The socket is lined with cartilage (firm, flexible tissue) that can become damaged or worn, causing pain. Arthritis, infection, injury, or loss of blood supply to the ball of the femur can damage the joint. You may need to have hip replacement surgery when you have unrelieved pain or problems with walking.
Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) on your hip. During the surgery, the damaged parts of your hip joint are removed and replaced with man-made parts. The implants are made of a combination of metal, ceramic, and/or plastic material. They are fixed tightly inside your femur and pelvic bones. Once in place, they are joined together just like a ball fitting in a socket. Having this surgery may ease your pain, make your hip joint more stable, and improve movement of your legs.
During the surgery your surgeon will access your hip joint by moving muscles and other structures to the side. The damaged parts of your hip joint will be removed using special tools. Implants will be fitted to replace the removed part of the bones. Your surgeon may then secure the implants using screws and cement, or create a tight fit if bone quality allows. The joint is put back together with the femur moved into position in the socket of the pelvis. The muscles and other tissues around the joint are moved back into their original positions. Your incision will be closed with stitches, staples, or glue and covered with a bandage.
Download the entire guide to total hip replacements, including pre- and post-op exercises, as a printable PDF document.
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