Hip Replacement Surgery
Total joint replacement involves surgery to replace the ends of both bones in a damaged joint to create new joint surfaces.
Total hip replacement surgery replaces the upper end of the thighbone (femur) with a metal ball and resurfaces the hip socket in the pelvic bone with a metal shell and liner made of ceramic, plastic, or metal.
Total hip replacement surgery replaces damaged Reference cartilage Opens New Window with new joint material in a step-by-step process.
View a Reference slideshow on hip replacement Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window to see what happens during this surgery.
Doctors may attach replacement joints to the bones with or without Reference cement.
- Cemented joints are attached to the existing bone with cement, which acts as a glue and attaches the artificial joint to the bone.
- Uncemented joints are attached using a porous coating that is designed to allow the bone to adhere to the artificial joint. Over time, new bone grows and fills up the openings in the porous coating, attaching the joint to the bone.
Doctors often use general Reference anesthesia Opens New Window for joint replacement surgeries, which means you'll be unconscious during surgery. But sometimes they use regional anesthesia, which means you can't feel the area of the surgery and you are sleepy, but you are awake. The choice depends on your doctor, on your overall health, and, to some degree, on what you prefer.
Your doctor may recommend that you take antibiotics before and after the surgery to reduce the risk of infection. If you need any major dental work, your doctor may recommend that you have it done before the surgery. Infections can spread from other parts of the body, such as the mouth, to the artificial joint and cause a serious problem.
Minimally invasive surgery
Some doctors are doing hip replacement surgery through smaller incisions. This is called minimally invasive surgery. It may mean less blood loss and a smaller scar. But it can also mean a longer time in surgery because the surgery is harder to do. And if the new hip cannot be fitted properly through the smaller incision, the doctor may have to make a larger opening anyway. These surgeries can also require special equipment that not all hospitals have. Minimally invasive surgery is not done often for hip replacement. If you are interested in this type of surgery, talk to your doctor. Whether the procedure is a good idea for you depends on your doctor's opinion and also on his or her training and practice.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: August 21, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology