Why do I need a Hip Replacement?
A ball (femoral head) at the top of your thigh bone (femur).
A socket (acetabulum) in your pelvis. Ligaments and muscles help keep the ball within the socket whilst allowing a large range of movement.
The normal hip
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint between the top of the thigh bone and the pelvis which lies deep in the groin. Normally the surfaces of the ball and socket are covered by a smooth, low friction material called articular cartilage, which cushions the bones and lets them move easily. However, this can become worn and thin, a process known as osteoarthritis.
The hip joint bears the full weight of your body. In fact, when you walk, the force transmitted through your hip can be up to three times your body weight.
As well as transmitting weight, the hip needs to be able to move freely to enable you to function normally. Muscles surrounding the hip such as your buttock (gluteal) and thigh muscles (quads) are also important in keeping your hip strong and preventing a limp.
The main reason for recommending a hip replacement is pain or loss of function due to arthritis.
A total hip replacement involves relining the hip socket (acetabulum) with a dense polyethylene or ceramic cup and replacing the ball at the end of the thigh bone (femur) with a stainless steel or
ceramic ball on a stem that fits down the centre of the thigh bone. The aims of the hip replacement are to relieve the pain from your hip and to enable you to carry out your normal activities more comfortably.