How Are Hip Replacements Done?


Quick Answer

Hip replacements are accomplished by surgically removing diseased portions of a hip joint and replacing them with artificial parts, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Joint damage requiring replacement surgery is usually the result of osteoarthritis.

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Full Answer

People with hip joint damage that interferes with normal activities and causes pain despite treatments such as medications, walking aids or exercise therapy are likely candidates for total hip replacement surgery, reports the NIAMS. This degree of joint damage is most frequently caused by osteoarthritis, but rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis, bone tumors, fractures and trauma can also cause deterioration sufficient to require replacement surgery.

Hip replacement surgery is performed while the patient is under a general anesthesia, during which the surgeon cuts along the hip and moves the muscles attached to the thighbone to expose the joint, reports WebMD. The ball at the end of the bone is removed with a saw, and the artificial joint is attached to the thighbone. After removing damaged cartilage from the hip bone and preparing the bone surface, the surgeon attaches the artificial socket. Artificial components are attached to bone with either cement or a special bonding material. The new ball joint is then inserted into the new socket, the muscles are reattached, and the wound is closed.

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