What is Hip Replacement Surgery?
The hip joint is the place where the thighbone – called the femur – and the hipbone – called the pelvis – meet. As you walk, the ball-shaped end of the thigh moves within a cuplike depression on the side of the hip. As long as the thigh can move smoothly against the hip, you are able to walk comfortably.
But over time, especially in patients who suffer from arthritis or rheumatism, the hip joint can wear down. Cartilage, the tissue that cushions the bones and makes it possible for them to move smoothly against each other can wear away. When this happens, the bones rub together causing pain and even restricting the ability to walk.
In some cases, hip surgery is recommended for people who have suffered a hip fracture.
No matter what the cause, one of the most effective ways to fix a damaged hip is to replace it surgically.
In this procedure, the ball-shaped bone at the top of the thigh is removed and replaced with a metal substitute. The hip socket is widened and lined with a smooth pad that allows the metal ball joint to move more freely against the pelvis. Hip replacement surgery is a major operation, but your doctor believes that the procedure — followed up with physical therapy and time to heal — will result in reduced pain and greater mobility. So make sure that you ask your doctor to carefully explain the reasons behind this recommendation.