Hip Surgeries


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    Conditions that can damage the hip joint, include:

    • Osteoarthritis. Commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis damages the slick cartilage that covers the ends of bones and helps joints move smoothly.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis. Caused by an overactive immune system, rheumatoid arthritis produces a type of inflammation that can erode cartilage and occasionally underlying bone, resulting in damaged and deformed joints.
    • Osteonecrosis. If there isn't enough blood supplied to the ball portion of the hip joint, such as might result from a dislocation or fracture, the bone might collapse and deform.
    Hip replacement may be an option if hip pain:
    • Persists, despite pain medication
    • Worsens with walking, even with a cane or walker
    • Interferes with sleep
    • Affects the ability to walk up or down stairs
    • Makes it difficult to rise from a seated position
    • During hip replacement, a surgeon removes the damaged sections of the hip joint and replaces them with parts usually constructed of metal, ceramic and very hard plastic. This artificial joint (prosthesis) helps reduce pain and improve function.
    • Also called total hip arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery might be an option if hip pain interferes with daily activities and nonsurgical treatments haven't helped or are no longer effective. Arthritis damage is the most common reason to need hip replacement.

    During the procedure

    The surgical procedure can be completed within two hours. To perform a hip replacement, the surgeon:

    • Makes an incision over the hip, through the layers of tissue
    • Removes diseased and damaged bone and cartilage, leaving healthy bone intact
    • Implants the replacement socket into the pelvic bone
    • Inserts a metal stem into the top of the thighbone, which is then topped with a replacement ball

    Home recovery

    Before you leave the hospital, you and your caregivers will get tips on caring for your new hip. For a smooth transition:

    • Arrange to have a friend or relative prepare some meals in advance
    • Place everyday items at waist level, so you won't have to bend down or reach up
    • Consider getting a raised toilet seat and a shower chair for your recovery at home
    • Put your phone, tissues, TV remote, medicine and books near the area where you'll be spending most of your time during recovery


    • Full recovery from a hip replacement varies from person to person, but most people are doing well three months after the surgery. Improvements typically continue during the first year after surgery.
    • The new hip joint can reduce pain and increase the hip's range of motion. But don't expect to do everything you could do before the hip became painful.
    • High-impact activities, such as running or playing basketball, might be too stressful on the artificial joint. But in time, most people can participate in lower-impact activities — such as swimming, golfing and bicycle riding.

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