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Types of Hip Joint Replacement

Worn or damaged hip joints can be replaced with artificial parts during hip replacement surgery. This type of surgery is performed after traumatic hip fractures or long-term bone degeneration. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis of the hip joint can damage protective joint cartilage, which leads to hip bone degeneration and pain. Hip joint replacement relieves hip pain unresponsive to other treatment methods, and allows increased mobility and improved hip joint function.

Hip Anatomy
Your hip joint is located at the point where your thigh bone meets your pelvis. It is a ball-and-socket joint that allows backward, forward, sideways and rotating movement. The upper end of your thigh bone, or femur, forms a ball, which fits into a cup-like structure on your pelvic bone. It is one of your body’s largest joints and should provide movement without friction or discomfort during daily activities. Painful hip joints can reduce your quality of life by limiting walking and bending activities. Hip joint replacement offers options of increased mobility and decreased pain.

Types of Hip Joint Implants
Many different types of implants have been created for use in hip joint replacement surgeries. Implants can be made of metal, ceramic or polyethylene. Polyethylene is a plastic. Your surgeon may decide to use metal, ceramic or polyethylene in both your thigh bone and your pelvis, or a combination of materials. The implants may be cemented to your bone or non-cemented, depending on the technique your surgeon prescribes. Implants can be long, short, smooth or rough. Whole implants will replace entire sections of bone, while partial implants replace only portions of bone or the surface of bone. Hip joint replacement is personalized to each individual.

Cemented Total Hip Replacement
Standard total hip joint replacement involves removing the top section of your thigh bone and the bone socket on your pelvis, which are then replaced with man-made implants. Both implants can be metal or a combination of metal and plastic or ceramic is used. Each implant is cemented to your bone using bone cement. Currently, cemented total hip joint replacement is used more often in older, less active individuals and those with weakened bones. The stability of cemented implants provides a shorter surgical recovery time than uncemented total hip joint replacement.

Uncemented Total Hip Replacement
Uncemented implants for total hip joint replacement are designed for bone ingrowth without the use of cement. Areas where these implants lie next to your bone have been mechanically or chemically treated to form a roughened or porous surface. This type of surfacing facilitates bone cell ingrowth, which provides implant stabilization For example, implants coated with titanium foam supplies a matrix for tissue adherence and cellular ingrowth. This type of hip joint replacement requires a prolonged recovery time to allow bone ingrowth and implant stabilization.

Hemi Hip Replacement
Hemi hip joint replacement surgery only replaces the top of your thigh bone, or femoral head, with a ball joint implant. No implant is placed into your pelvic bone. This type of surgery is often required after a person breaks their femoral head and has not damaged the pelvic bone socket. This implant sits within your natural pelvic socket.

Hip Resurfacing
Sometimes, hip joint replacement is performed using a hip resurfacing technique. In this technique the femoral head is resurfaced and capped with a metal implant. Also, the pelvic socket is replaced with a metal implant. A minimal loss of bone is the advantage of this system. Surgeons often use bone cement during hip resurfacing, although a few use uncemented implants. Combined with a conservative surgical approach technique, hip resurfacing may permit higher levels of post-surgical activity and a more normal gate.