The Body’s Support
The hip joint is responsible for supporting much of the body’s weight while standing or walking, and is important to maintaining balance. Besides osteoarthrosis, there are other common hip disorders that require surgery other than hip replacement. Abnormalities of the labrum (lining of the joint), loose bodies, dyplasia (underdeveloped joint), and even tendinosis can be managed with hip arthroscopy or open hip procedures that do not involve replacement of the joint.
Hip Surgery FAQ’S
What is arthritis, and why does my hip hurt?
In the hip joint there is a layer of smooth cartilage on the ball of the upper end of the thigh bone (femur) and another layer within the hip socket. This cartilage serves as a cushion and allows for smooth motion of the hip. Arthritis is a wearing away of this cartilage. Eventually it wears down to bone. Rubbing of bone against bone causes discomfort, swelling and stiffness.
What is a total hip replacement?
A total hip replacement is an operation that removes the arthritic ball of the upper thigh bone (femur) as well as damaged cartilage from the hip socket. The ball is replaced with a metal ball that is fixed solidly inside the femur. The socket is replaced with a plastic liner that is usually fixed inside a metal shell. This creates a smoothly functioning joint that does not hurt.
When should I have hip-replacement surgery?
Your orthopaedic surgeon will decide if you are a candidate for the surgery. This will be based on your history, an examination and X-rays. Your orthopaedic surgeon will ask you to decide if your discomfort, stiffness and disability justify undergoing surgery. There is no harm in waiting if conservative, non-operative methods are controlling your discomfort.
Am I too old for hip-replacement surgery?
Age is not a problem if you are in reasonable health and have the desire to continue living a productive, active life. You may be asked to see your personal physician for an opinion about your general health and readiness for surgery.
What are the major risks?
Most surgeries go well without any complications. Infection and blood clots are two serious complications that concern us the most. To avoid these complications, we use antibiotics and blood thinners. We also take special precautions in the operating room to reduce risk of infections. The chances of this happening in your lifetime are 1 percent or less. Dislocation of the hip after surgery is a risk. Your surgeon and physical therapist will discuss ways to reduce that risk.