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Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) to help you better understand hip replacement.
Your hip joint contains a layer of smooth cartilage on the ball of the upper end of the thigh bone (femur) and another layer within your hip socket. This cartilage serves as a cushion and allows for smooth motion of the hip. Arthritis is a wearing away of this cartilage. Eventually it wears down to bone. Bone rubbing against bone causes discomfort, swelling and stiffness.
A total hip replacement involves the removal of the arthritic ball of the upper thigh bone (femur) and damaged cartilage from the hip socket. The ball is replaced with a metal ball that is fixed solidly inside the femur. The socket is replaced with a plastic or metal liner that is usually fixed inside a metal shell. This creates a smoothly functioning pain-free joint.
Revision surgery is the replacement of an artificial joint. Just as your original joint wears out, a joint replacement will wear over time as well. The most common reason for revision surgery is due to joint loosening. Hip dislocation after surgery is is a risk and persistent instability of the hip may require revision.
Hip replacement is one of the most successful orthopaedic surgeries performed. Infection and blood clots are two serious potential complications, but we use antibiotics and blood thinners prior to surgery to help avoid them. While post surgical infection is very rare, we also take special precautions in the operating room to reduce the risk of infections.
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