A Patient's Guide to Artificial Joint Replacement of the Hip
A hip that is painful as a result of osteoarthritis (OA) can severely affect your ability to lead a full, active life. Over the last 25 years, major advancements in hip replacement have improved the outcome of the surgery greatly. Hip replacement surgery (also called hip arthroplasty) is becoming more and more common as the population of the world begins to age.
This guide will help you understand
- what your surgeon hopes to achieve
- what happens during the procedure
- what to expect after your operation
How does the hip normally work?
The hip joint is one of the true ball-and-socket joints of the body. The hip socket is called the acetabulum and forms a deep cup that surrounds the ball of the upper thigh bone, known as the femoral head. The thick muscles of the buttock at the back and the thick muscles of the thigh in the front surround the hip.
The surface of the femoral head and the inside of the acetabulum are covered with articular cartilage. This material is about one-quarter of an inch thick in most large joints. Articular cartilage is a tough, slick material that allows the surfaces to slide against one another without damage.
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