Hip replacement has become necessary for your arthritic hip: this is one of the most effective operations known and should give you many years of freedom from pain.


Once you have arthritis which has not responded to conservative treatment, you may well be a candidate for total hip replacement surgery.

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Arthritis is a general term covering numerous conditions where the joint surface (cartilage) wears out. The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain free movement in the joint. This surface can wear out for a number of reasons, often the definite cause is not known. When the articular cartilage wears out, the bone ends rub on one another and cause pain. There are numerous conditions that can cause arthritis and often the exact cause is never known. In general, but not always, it affects people as they get older (Osteoarthritis).Other causes include


Childhood disorders e.g., dislocated hip, Perthe disease, slipped epiphysis etc.

Growth abnormalities of the hip (such as a shallow socket) may lead to premature arthritis

Trauma (fracture)

Increased stress e.g., overuse, overweight, etc

Avascular necrosis (loss of blood supply)


Inflammation e.g., Rheumatoid arthritis

Connective tissue disorders

Connective tissue disorders

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Surgical Procedure

An incision is made over the hip to expose the hip joint The acetabulum (socket) is prepared using a special instrument called a reamer. The acetabular component is then inserted into the socket. This is sometimes reinforced with screws or occasionally cemented. A liner which can be made of plastic, metal or ceramic material is then placed inside the acetabular component.


The femur (thigh bone) is then prepared. The femoral head which is arthritic is cut off and the bone prepared using special instruments, to exactly fit the new metal femoral component. The femoral component is then inserted into the femur. This may be press fit relying on bone to grow into it or cemented depending on a number of factors such as bone quality and surgeon?s preference.

The real femoral head component is then placed on the femoral stem. This can be made of metal or ceramic.

The hip is then reduced again, for the last time

The muscles and soft tissues are then closed carefully.

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Prior to surgery you will usually have tried some simple treatments such as simple analgesics, weight loss, anti-inflammatory medications, modification of your activities, walking sticks, physiotherapy.


The decision to proceed with THR surgery is a cooperative one between you, your surgeon, family and your local doctor. Benefits of surgery include

Reduced hip pain

Increased mobility and movement

Correction of deformity

Equalization of leg length (not guaranteed)

Increased leg strength

Improved quality of life, ability to return to normal activities

Enables you to sleep without pain

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