Total Hip Replacement


Because the hip is one of the largest joints in the body, joint damage from arthritis, fractures, and other conditions can cause pain that makes everyday activities difficult. Hip pain is often first treated with nonsurgical methods like activity modification and medication, but if these methods do not relieve pain, hip replacement surgery may be recommended.

Advancements in surgical techniques and technology have made hip replacement surgery one of the most successful operations in all of medicine. Our goal with hip replacement surgery is to get you back to your normal routine without hip pain.

Anatomy of the Hip

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The socket, or acetabulum, is located in the pelvic bone, and the ball portion of the joint is located at the upper end of the femur, or thighbone. The surfaces of the joint are covered with a smooth tissue called articular cartilage, which cushions the joint and allows it to move easily. A thin tissue called the synovial membrane surrounds the joint and also aids in movement by secreting a small amount of fluid to reduce friction. Ligaments connect the ball to the socket, adding stability to the joint.

Conditions like arthritis can affect the normal function of the hip. Osteoarthritis wears away the cartilage lining the joint, and can eventually lead to the bones rubbing together. Rheumatoid arthritis causes the synovial membrane to thicken and become inflamed, which can also damage cartilage. These conditions can cause pain and stiffness in the hip, which can interfere with your normal activities.

Candidates for Total Hip Replacement

While the decision to have surgery will depend on the individual patient and his or her needs, there are some factors we consider when recommending surgery.

We generally recommend surgery when a patient has hip pain that 1) interferes with daily activities and 2) continues even when at rest. In some cases, pain and stiffness may limit the patient’s ability to move his or her leg. Candidates for total hip replacement experience pain and stiffness that continues even with nonsurgical treatment methods like medication, physical therapy, and activity modification.

Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of surgery, and answer any questions you may have.

Total Hip Replacement Procedure

During a total hip replacement procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage are replaced with prosthetic components. The ball portion of the joint is removed, and a hole is made at the upper end of the thighbone to insert the stem of the implant. The stem is made of metal and has a ball component on the end. The implant stem may be cemented into place, or “press-fitted,” meaning that the surface of the implant is porous to allow bone to grow into it. The damaged cartilage in the socket is replaced with a metal cup, which is lined with a plastic spacer. The plastic spacer reduces friction in the new joint, allowing the hip to glide smoothly with movement.

Recovery

Physical therapy is a very important part of the recovery process. It is critical that you begin moving the new hip as soon as possible to prevent stiffness. Patients work with a physical therapist after surgery to begin walking; they learn exercises to strengthen the hip and restore movement. It is important that you keep up with these exercises after surgery.

For the best possible outcome, be sure to follow all post-operative instructions given to you by your doctor. Most patients are able to resume normal activities within three to six weeks, although some discomfort may be present for the first few weeks.

Total Hip Replacement in Beaumont, TX

Beaumont Bone and Joint Institute is committed to providing the best-quality orthopaedic care possible. Our surgeons have trained at world-renowned centers and offer a wide variety of orthopaedic treatment options, including total hip replacement. To learn more about hip replacement, or to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled physicians, please contact us at (409) 838-0346 (Beaumont office) or (409) 729-5633 (Port Arthur office).