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Total Hip Arthroplasty (Replacement)

The hip is one of the body's largest joints. Unfortunately, damage to the hip caused by arthritis, a fracture, or other conditions can make everyday activities difficult. Whether you have just recently started exploring treatment options for hip pain, or if you have already decided to undergo hip replacement surgery, this information will help you better understand the benefits and limitations of total hip arthroplasty (replacement).


When medications, lifestyle changes, and the use of walking supports are no longer adequately helping your pain, you may be interested in considering hip replacement surgery. Total hip replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure designed to relieve pain, increase motion, and help you get back to enjoying everyday activities.


For more than 50 years, hip replacement surgery has been used to improve the quality of life for men and women suffering from hip pain and discomfort. More than 300,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the U.S., according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Recent advancements in surgical techniques and technology have increased the effectiveness of total hip replacement, and many people who were not considered candidates previously are now experiencing excellent results.


What Is Involved

Total hip replacement surgery involves removing damaged bone and cartilage and replacing it with prosthetic components. The damaged femoral head is removed and a metal stem is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The femoral stem may be either cemented or "press fit" into the bone. At this point, a ceramic or metal ball is placed on the upper part of the stem. This ball replaces the damaged femoral head. The damaged cartilage surface of the acetabulum is removed and replaced with a metal socket, and a plastic or ceramic spacer is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.


What To Expect

When deciding whether to have hip replacement surgery, it is important that you have a complete understanding of what you can and cannot accomplish with this surgery. Most men and women undergoing hip replacement surgery will experience a significant reduction in hip pain and a dramatic improvement in their ability to perform the common activities of daily living.


Normal use and activity will cause the material between the head and the socket of every hip replacement implant to wear over time. Excessive activity, or being overweight, may speed up this normal wear and cause the hip replacement to loosen and become painful. Therefore, I typically advise against pursuing high-impact activities such as running, jogging, jumping, or other high-impact sports after hip replacement surgery.


Popular activities following total hip replacement include walking, swimming, golf, driving, hiking, biking, dancing, and other low-impact sports. With appropriate activity modification, hip replacements can last for many years.


To learn more about hip replacement surgery in Redding and schedule a consultation appointment, please contact my office at (530) 395-0340.


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