Total Hip Replacement

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The goals of total hip replacement (arthroplasty) are to provide relief of pain and discomfort, improve function and enhance stability in patients suffering from arthritis or any disabling orthopedic hip problem. This goal was originally met in the late 1960’s and has been improved over the past several decades.

Joint replacement is a common surgical procedure with a high success rate. In an arthritic hip, the damaged ball (the upper end of the femur) is replaced by a metal or ceramic ball attached to a metal stem fitted into the femur (with or without cement), and a plastic or ceramic socket (fitted into a metal socket) that is implanted into the pelvis, replacing the damaged socket.

Using a combination of metal and plastic, the joint implant surgeon creates a new ball and socket joint which will glide smoothly and painlessly. During the past two decades, multiple advances in hip arthroplasty have been accomplished and many types of prostheses are available and currently used. The metals used are chrome cobalt alloy and/or titanium alloy. These are super metals initially developed for the aerospace industry and now adapted for the orthopedic industry. The plastic is a high-density plastic polymer called polyethylene. In younger patients a ceramic ball is used with a polyethylene or ceramic socket.