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Hip Replacement

Experts at Treating Hip Arthritis in Orange County

What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

During total hip replacement (also called hip arthroplasty) the damaged hip joint, which consists of the pelvis and femur (thighbone) are replaced with an artificial hip joint or prosthesis, typically made with metal, ceramic and a very hard plastic. This surgery can relieve hip pain and stiffness as well as help to restore motion of the arthritic hip joint.

Understanding the Anatomy of the Hip

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball, at the top of your femur (thighbone) is called the femoral head. The socket, called the acetabulum, is part of your pelvis. The ball moves in the socket, allowing your leg to rotate and move forward, backward and sideways.

In a healthy hip, the cartilage covers the ball and the socket to help the hip move smoothly. If this cartilage wears down, which occurs with hip arthritis or from a traumatic hip injury, the bones can scrape together and become rough. An arthritic hip can make it painful to walk or even get in and out of a chair.

Your hip surgeon may first attempt to relieve your hip pain with conservative, nonsurgical treatments such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and physical therapy, injections of steroids. But if conservative measures do not relieve symptoms, your surgeon may recommend hip replacement surgery.

Common Causes for Hip Replacement

The following conditions are most commonly associated to requiring hip replacement surgery:

  • Osteoarthritis is commonly referred to as wear and tear arthritis. Osteoarthritis damages the cartilage that cushions the bones of the hip joint and helps the joint move smoothly. When this wears away, the bones then rub against each other, causing the hip joint to stiffen and become painful.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation to the hip joint and can erode the cartilage and occasionally underlying bone, resulting in damaged and deformed hip joints.
  • Osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis can follow an injury to the hip, such as a hip fracture or dislocated hip where the blood supply to the ball portion of the hip joint is cut-off or limited. The lack of blood may cause the surface of the bone to collapse and deform, resulting in arthritis.
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis can follow a serious hip injury or fracture. The cartilage may become damaged and lead to hip pain and stiffness over time.

When Hip Replacement Surgery is Recommended

There are several reasons why your hip surgeon may recommend hip replacement surgery.

Patients who benefit from hip replacement surgery often experience the following symptoms:

  • Hip pain that limits everyday activities, such as walking or bending
  • Hip pain that continues while resting
  • Stiffness in a hip that limits range of motion and the ability to move or lift the leg
  • If conservative treatments such as NSAIDs and physical therapy do not relieve hip pain

Types of Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery is a common surgical procedure used in the management of advanced rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and severe fractures. Below we explain the different types of hip replacement procedures available at Newport Orthopedic Institute.

Total Hip Replacement Surgery is the most common type of hip replacement surgery and is also called total hip arthroplasty. This procedure involves the removal of damaged parts of the femur and pelvis with artificial implants. The socket is replaced with a durable plastic cup, which may or may not also include a titanium metal shell. Your femoral head will be removed and replaced with a ball made from ceramic or a metal alloy. The new ball is attached to a metal stem that is inserted into the top of your femur.

There are two major surgical approaches used for performing a total hip replacement:

  • Posterior approach hip replacement is a minimally invasive procedure which requires your hip surgeon to cut through soft tissue at the back of the hip to gain access to the hip’s ball and socket. This approach also uses a curved incision on the side and back of the hip. The incision curves just behind the greater trochanter, the knobby bit of bone that sticks out at the side from the top of the femur (thighbone). Improvements to this approach allow a smaller incision and less tissue trauma, enabling a more rapid post-operative recovery. This modification of the posterior approach has been called the “mini posterior approach hip replacement.” In addition, if needed this approach can quickly expand to access the pelvis or femur in more complex cases such as hip revision surgery.
  • Anterior approach hip replacement is also a minimally invasive procedure that requires the surgeon to gain access to the hip joint through front of the hip. It is sometimes called a muscle-sparring hip replacement because it doesn’t require detaching or cutting muscles and tendons. It is also referred to as a mini hip replacement because it uses an incision that can be as small as 3-4 inches.

Partial Hip Replacement also called hemiarthroplasty, involves replacing only one side of the hip joint – the femoral head, instead of both sides. This procedure is most commonly done in older patients who have suffered a fractured hip in an emergent setting. This procedure is not used for patients who develop wear and tear of the joint.

Hip Revision Surgery is performed to repair an artificial hip joint (prosthesis) that has been damaged over time due to an infection, or normal wear or loosening of the prosthetic hip. Revision surgery helps the hip to function normally again. Depending on how the original hip replacement is problematic, the revision (redo) is tailored to address specific part that has worn out, whether it is the socket (acetabular component), femur (femoral component) or both.

Schedule a consultation with a Newport Orthopedic Institute Hip Surgeon in Orange County to treat your Hip Arthritis.
Call (949) 722-7038

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