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What Is Total Hip Replacement?

Total Hip Replacement

Overview of hip replacement surgery

Millions of people who have suffered from hip pain and arthritis have experienced relief through total hip replacement and restored mobility. Globally, hundreds of thousands of hip replacement procedures are performed each year.

In a total hip replacement surgery, the painful parts of your damaged hip are replaced with artificial hip parts, called a prosthesis, which substitutes for or supplements a joint. The prosthesis consists of three components: a socket, ball, and stem. The outer shell of the socket is usually made of metal and the inner shell consists of plastic; in some cases the entire socket may be plastic. When the metal ball is joined with the socket, the new hip can allow for smooth, nearly frictionless movement.

Two types of hip fixation

There are two main fixation philosophies—cemented and porous. Both can be effective in the replacement of hip joints. The surgeon (and you) will choose the best solution that is specific to your needs.

Cemented hip implant

The cemented hip implant is designed to be implanted using bone cement (a grout that helps position the implant within the bone). Bone cement is injected into the prepared femoral canal. The surgeon then positions the implant within the canal and the grout helps to hold it in the desired position.

Porous hip implant

The porous hip implant is inserted into the prepared femoral canal without the use of bone cement. Initially, the femoral canal is prepared so that the implant fits tightly within it. The porous surfaces on the hip implant are designed to engage the bone within the canal and permit ingrowth into the porous surface. Eventually, this ingrowth can provide additional fixation to hold the implant in the desired position.