Many hip problems are the result of the aging process and the continuous wear and tear of the hip joint. Others are the result of an injury or a sudden movement that damages your hip.
If your hip has been damaged by arthritis, a fracture, or other conditions, common activities such as walking or getting in and out of a chair may be painful and difficult. Your hip may be stiff, and it may be hard to put on your shoes and socks. You may even feel uncomfortable while resting. If medications, changes in your everyday activities, and the use of walking supports do not adequately help your symptoms, you may consider hip replacement surgery. Hip replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can relieve your pain, increase motion, and help you get back to enjoying normal, everyday activities. The most common cause of chronic hip pain and disability is arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and traumatic arthritis are the most common forms of this disease. In a total hip replacement (also called total hip arthroplasty), the damaged bone and cartilage is removed and replaced with prosthetic components.
When Surgery Is Recommended:
There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend hip replacement surgery. People who benefit from hip replacement surgery often have:
- Hip pain that limits everyday activities, such as walking or bending
- Hip pain that continues while resting, either day or night
- Stiffness in a hip that limits the ability to move or lift the leg
- Inadequate pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or walking supports
Looking ahead to a New Hip
If a painful hip is putting limits on your life, total hip replacement surgery may help. This is surgery that replaces a damaged hip with a prosthesis (artificial joint). A new hip can make it easier to get around with less pain. It can also help you get back to doing things you enjoy, like taking walks or playing golf.
Replacing the Damaged Joint
Damage to the hip joint is often caused by osteoarthritis. This is when wear and tear breaks down the joint, making movement stiff and painful. To repair the hip, wornout parts are removed and replaces with an artificial joint. The new joint works much like natural hip. Until it heals, your new hip will have limited movement. You may also have some discomfort. But having a new hip means you won't have arthritis pain in that joint anymore.
An artificial hip is shaped much like a natural hip. The parts have smooth surfaces for ease of movement. Strong materials help ensure it will last.