What is a hip replacement? A hip replacement, or hip arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure where the arthritic areas of bone and cartilage is replaced with a medical grade prosthesis to help relieve pain and help restore the loss of range of motion of the joint. It is typically performed for severe cases of osteoarthritis. The prosthesis contains a combination of medical grade titanium metal, ceramic femoral head and plastic polyethylene. The decision about what prosthesis is used is based on your medical and surgical history, your age, previous and expected activity level after surgery, and what Dr. Orozco has determined will maximize your quality of life. Since this prosthesis is made up of metals, ceramic and plastics you will likely hear or feel a clicking sound in your new joint as the two components move together.
The hip joint is located in your groin. It is made up of the femoral head (normally shaped like a ball) and the acetabulum which lies in the pelvis. A hip replacement includes four components. A femoral stem that is placed in the femur bone for stability, a polyethylene liner that fits into an acetabular cup that is press fitted into the pelvis and a ceramic femoral head that replaces the diseased misshaped one. There are multiple ways to enter the hip joint. Dr. Orozco’s preferred method is a direct anterior approach which is through the front of the leg where one’s front pocket would be. This allows him to access the hip joint without cutting the muscles and decreases the risk of dislocations and the need for hip precautions after surgery. The hip joint is similar to the shoulder in that it is a ball and socket joint. However, the flexibility and range of motion one has in the hip joint is directly related to the muscle and tendons surrounding the joint. Not everyone will have the same degree of flexibility.