A hip replacement, or arthroplasty, is a surgery performed to remove a diseased or damaged hip joint and replace it with an artificial joint.
Conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteonecrosis, as well as bone tumors, fractures or injuries are common causes of hip joint damage. Patients who have cancer that has spread to and damaged the hip joint may be candidates for hip replacement surgery.
People who have damaged hip joints experience symptoms such as:
- Mobility issues (e.g., difficulty climbing or going down stairs, difficulty rising from a seated position, trouble walking)
- Unrelenting pain
- Sleeplessness due to pain
For the procedure, a 6- to 8-inch incision is made over the side of the hip. A surgeon then moves the muscles beneath the skin to expose the hip. Damaged bone and cartilage are removed from the joint, while the healthy portions remain intact. A surgeon then replaces the head of the thighbone (femur) and the hip socket (acetabulum) with artificial parts. The parts, or prostheses, are then cemented or secured into place. Finally, the muscles are reattached and the incision is closed.
Surgeons may be able to perform hip replacement surgery using a minimally invasive approach, which requires one or two smaller incisions.
The procedure takes approximately two hours to perform. Patients need to stay in the hospital for three to five days and may need physical therapy to help them strengthen the hip and restore movement.
Benefits of hip replacement include:
- Improved mobility
- Pain relief
- Improved quality of life
- Renewed ability to participate in daily activities