Hip replacement

During hip replacement, a surgeon removes the damaged sections of your hip joint and replaces them with parts usually constructed of metal and very hard plastic. This artificial joint (prosthesis) helps reduce pain and improve function.

Also called total hip arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery may be an option for you if your hip pain interferes with daily activities and more-conservative treatments haven't helped. Arthritis damage is the most common reason to need hip replacement.

Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect Results

Conditions that can damage the hip joint, sometimes necessitating hip replacement surgery, 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 bone and cartilage and deform joints.
  • Osteonecrosis. If there is inadequate blood supply to the ball portion of the hip joint, the bone may collapse and deform.

You might consider hip replacement if you're experiencing hip pain that:

  • Persists, despite pain medication
  • Worsens with walking, even with a cane or walker
  • Interferes with your sleep
  • Affects your ability to go up or down stairs
  • Makes it difficult to rise from a seated position

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