Arthritis is the most common reason for the need of hip replacement. The hip joint is cushioned with a smooth layer of cartilage on the ball of the upper end of the thighbone within the hip socket. This cartilage allows smooth motion inside the hip during movement. Arthritis in the hip will wear down this cartilage and eventually it will wear down to bone. This rubbing of bone against bone causes discomfort, swelling and stiffness.
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint making its mobility unique, but also susceptible to injury. Over time through age and use, cartilage in the hip joint can wear down or become damaged. Problems within the hip joint usually result in pain that radiates on the inside of the hip or groin area. The exact location of the hip pain can help provide important information on what the underlying cause of the pain may be. For instance, hip pain that is on the outside of the hip, upper thigh, or outer gluteal area is usually the result of problems or imbalances with muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues surrounding the hip joint. Pain may be accompanied by reduced range of motion, and possibly a limp.
Total hip replacement, also known as total hip arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure performed because of severe arthritis in the hip joint. Total hip replacement is done by removing the diseased ball and replacing it with a metal or ceramic ball and stem. It is inserted into the femur bone, with an artificial plastic cup socket, and fixed into place with bone cement. Results of total hip replacement will vary depending on the quality of the surrounding tissue, the severity of the condition at the time of surgery, and the patient’s activity level. High-impact activities, such as running, should be avoided until full recovery. Patients should also refrain from crossing their legs or bending and twisting at the hip or twisting side-to-side.
An orthopedics surgeon will be able to tell you whether or not you are a candidate for hip replacement surgery. This diagnosis will be based on your medical history, a thorough exam, and x-rays. After these exams are performed, a discussion will then be made with you to decide if your discomfort, stiffness, and disability will require surgery. Contact Global Orthopedics to discuss hip placement procedures and treatments and any questions you may have about total hip replacement.
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