What is hip replacement?

In hip replacement surgery, the damaged bone surfaces and cartilage are removed and replaced with implants. The procedure is intended to give you restored mobility and to reduce painful bone-on-bone contact.

Total Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement

To replicate the action of your natural joint, a total hip replacement has 4 parts: a socket (cup), liner, ball (head) and stem. The cup is typically made of metal and fits into the natural hip socket. The liner is most commonly made of a medical grade plastic called polyethylene. The head implant forms the ball of the hip and sits in the liner to form the joint. Finally, the stem fits into the thighbone (femur) and is commonly made of metal.

Minimally invasive hip replacement

With minimally invasive hip replacement, surgeons can save key muscles and tissues, which are cut during traditional surgery. The implants used for minimally invasive hip replacement are the same as those used for traditional hip replacement. However, this procedure may result in smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery.1 Not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive hip replacement. Talk with your doctor to determine if this procedure is the best option for you.

Is it time for hip replacement?

That’s a question you and your doctor will have to answer together. However, when non-surgical treatments aren’t providing enough relief for you to enjoy life the way you’d like, the time may be right to consider hip replacement surgery.

Here are some signs2 to consider when deciding if it may be time for hip replacement:

  • You have pain that keeps you awake or awakens you at night
  • You have pain that limits activities necessary to go about your daily routine, such as walking or bending
  • Your hip’s pain and stiffness interfere with your daily life and limit your mobility
  • You have tried other treatments for a reasonable period of time and you still have persistent pain

You and your doctor must consider many other factors prior to surgery, including your age, overall health and bone density. The list above can help you understand when you may begin to consider joint replacement surgery. Every surgical procedure has risks and benefits. Your individual results will depend on personal circumstances. Your doctor will provide post-operative directions. Remember that recovery takes time.

Doctors may delay total hip replacement for as long as possible in favor of less invasive treatments. If you have advanced joint disease, hip replacement may provide relief from pain and a return to normal activities.

When your life is dictated by the limitations caused by your hip pain, consider speaking with an orthopaedic surgeon about joint replacement. 

  1. Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00404
  2. Total Hip Replacement. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00377
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Talk to your surgeon about whether joint replacement or another treatment is right for you and the risks of the procedure, including the risk of implant wear, loosening or failure, and pain, swelling and infection. Zimmer Biomet does not practice medicine; only a surgeon can answer your questions regarding your individual symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.