Hip Anatomy

The joint is one of the most important body parts of the human anatomy, a joint is a point where there are multiple bones meet and work together so as to perform daily task like sitting, climbing stairs, and also common task like walking comfortably.

The joint of the hip is described medically as a ball and socket joint as the appearance of the joint which looks like a ball called the femoral head fitted in the snugly cup like socket know as acetabulum. The ball which is the femoral head is located on the femur which is medically called the thigh bone and the socket, called the acetabulum which is part of the pelvis. Cartilage is the slick firm tissue and this tissue is in the area where the bones meet to, this enables the joints to move smoothly.

A disease to the joint leads to the progression of the bones to begin to rub against each other causing a rough misshapen surface, which sometimes results in a bone on bone conflict or contact causing pain and stiffness.

Hip Anatomy

What is hip replacement surgery and let us find out how this treatment works?

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the world and which is the most frequent cause of discomfort and chronic hip pain. Most numbers of people who are diagnosed with arthritis are at the age of 65.

The hip which has the ball and socket joint, performs a wide range of movements. Arthritis damages the cartilage- covered surface of the joint so the ball moves lees smoothly and less freely within the socket.

In the hip replacement or resurfacing operation, the surgeon replaces the damaged surface with artificial parts, which may be made of plastic polyethene or ceramic.

There are close to 100 types of arthritis, but the following three are the most common type of joint damages:-

Types of Arthritis


This is a disease which involves the wearing away of the normal smooth joint surfaces. This leads to causing a bone on bone contact which then results in producing pain and acute stiffness.

Treatments like hip replacement give the patients the ability to enjoy their lives with less pain and better mobility.

Rheumatoid arthritis

This is a systemic disease because it may attack any or all joints in the body. Rheumatoid arthritis causes destruction and disability of the joint through severe inflammation. The immune system of the body is attacked and destroys the smooth lining of the joint capsule, this results in pain and joint damages which lead to mobility.

Trauma-related arthritis

This results from damage to the joint from a previous injury. The acute problem leads to causing joint damage and even pain with loss of mobility

The Potential Benefits of Hip Replacement Surgery

Freedom from pain can be the pain advantage of the surgery, along with improved mobility and better quality of life. you will have some pain from surgery, to begin with, but you should start to notice improvements soon after the operations.

  • Relieve pain
  • Improve mobility
  • Freedom to do everyday activities like walking and climbing the stairs without any difficulty.

What are the disadvantages of hip replacement surgery?

It is important to remember that an artificial hip isn’t as good as a natural hip. It has some limitations, for example, extreme position such as squatting is not recommended because of the risk of dislocation.

What is the different type of hip replacement surgery?

There are two main types of hip replacement operations but a number of components and techniques may be used.

In this surgery, the thigh bone including the ball is removed and a new smaller artificial ball is fixed into the rest of the thigh bone. the surface of the existing socket in the pelvis is roughened so an artificial socket that will join up with the new ball can be fitted.

Many artificial joint components are fixed into the bone with acrylic cement, but it’s becoming more common for one part or both to be inserted with cement especially in the more active patients. If the cement is not used the surface of the implants are roughened to encourage bone to grow onto them. The bone is the living substance and as long it is healthy it will continue to renew itself over time and provide a long-lasting bond.

total hip replacement

Metal on metal hip resurfacing

This treatment of resurfacing the original socket and the ball of the thigh bone is a different form of hip replacement. This involves the head of the thigh bone called femur and replacing it with the artificial ball, and then there is a hollow metal cap that is fitted over the head of the thigh bone.

People who have this type of operation have a lower risk of dislocation and may be able to return to a higher level of physical activity compared with those have a conventional hip replacement.

this surgery is linked with a release of the metal particle from the joint replacement materials, which may cause inflammation in the nearby tissues and have unknown effects on your general health. the complication rates and early repeat surgery rates for hip resurfacing procedures are much greater than for conventional hip replacement.

The complication is higher in older patients and in women. this surgery is not suitable for people with low bone density or osteoporosis where the bones are weakened.

Metal on metal hip resurfacing

Hip replacement rehabilitation/recovery

The rehabilitation after the surgery is the most important aspect of the surgery to aid the process successfully and a better hip.

The common time to spent time in the hospital for a hip replacement is 3 to 5 days, and the hip rehabilitation begins right after the surgery.

The medical team will instruct on some activities for a quick recovery they are, assist with isometric activities which means to tighten the muscle without the movement of the joint a number of time in a day while still in bed, ankle and joint movement, some safe methods for getting into and off the bed or a chair, and an overall the do’s and don’ts of the hip replacement recovery.

The aim of the hip rehabilitation is:-

  • Protect the medically new hip.
  • Improve the muscle strength
  • Improve and increase the movement of the hip joint
  • Help in resuming most the normal activities.

Rehabilitation is a time taking procedure and it takes string commitment. As each hip is unique, each person length of recovery is dependent on the particular condition of the patient, his overall health play important role for rehabilitation. Man people after the surgery recover in 3 to 6 months. You will have o meet the doctor on a regular basis for consultation and when he thinks you are ready then you can start some normal activities or chores.

The activities after a hip replacement surgery are to completely follow the doctor’s advice. After the surgery, it is important to have and keep realistic goals and expectations about the types of the activities you take part off in this critical phase to get a better hip quickly.

Some of the activities to stay away from or give caution to are actions like driving, sports exercises, sexual activities and also work task and actions. Also, Activities that may cause high-impact stress on the implant should be avoided.

Want to know if you are ready for a hip replacement?

Every person’s hip is a unique and to provide the best fit for your hip, the surgeons and the medical team will choose from a number of implant components. On an average, the total hip system which includes the stem, ball, cup and the liner would approximately weigh between one to two pounds, and this would depend on the type of material used.

The hip replacement does not have any age restrictions rather how affected the hip is. A hip replacement is considered medical to be an effective procedure that helps your patients to resume a more active lifestyle. The surgery is designed so that all normal activities can be performed with ease daily with comfort. Although the younger the patient the greater are the chances that the new joint will eventually wear out. However, if further surgery has to be done by the medical team it is usually possible to have another hip replacement.

Having arthritis of the doesn’t definitely mean you will require a hip replacement. Your doctors will always try other measures before suggesting a hip replacement for examples like painkillers, physiotherapy or walking aids or in some cases steroid injections into the hip joint. but it is worth considering surgery if your hip is severely damaged and the pain, disability or stiffness are having serious effects on your daily activities.

Only an orthopedic doctor or surgeon can decide that if a hip replacement is the most appropriate treatment. He analyzes and assess the situation and the condition of the hip and give a clear picture of the treatment available. The risks and the benefits of the hip replacement will be explained to you so that you can make an informed decision on what you want the future course of treatment is. You would need a hip replacement if you have pain or loss of movement which is affecting your life.

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