Hip Arthroplasty and Hip Discomfort

If you are like the many people who suffer from hip damage caused by fractures, arthritis, or other conditions, you no doubt find everyday tasks like sitting down and standing up difficult and uncomfortable. You may even feel discomfort while trying to relax and fall asleep. While prescriptions, physical therapy, use of walking supports and changes in your lifestyle are all effective means of convalescence, they may still fall short of helping you recover full range of motion and will most likely be inadequate for easing the pain. If all other methods of recovery have proven futile, then you may consider getting hip replacement surgery.

What is Hip Arthroplasty?

Hip replacement surgery (hip arthroplasty) is a safe, effective procedure that dates back to the 1960s. Novi Michigan hip arthroplasty patients have not only experienced increased mobility and pain relief but have also been able to return to their normal daily routines and lifestyles. In a total hip arthroplasty, orthopedic surgeons remove the damaged cartilage and bone, and then replace them with prosthetic components:

  • After thoroughly prepping the patient for surgery, orthopedic surgeons remove the damaged femoral head, and press-fit (or cement) a metal stem in into the femur’s hollow center. They then place a ceramic or metal ball on the upper part of the stem, replacing the removed femoral head.
  • Doctors next remove the damaged acetabulum (cartilage covering the surface of the socket) and replace it with a metal socket, screwed or cemented in place.
  • Finally, a metal, plastic, or ceramic spacer is placed between the new ball and socket to create a frictionless surface.

Determining if You Are a Candidate for Surgery

Doctors recommend patients for hip arthroplasty based on their discomfort and disability. There are no weight or age restrictions for total hip replacements. Patients who undergo hip replacement surgery are typically aged 50-80, but orthopedic surgeons evaluate each person without age bias. There are numerous reasons your doctor may recommend hip replacement surgery:

  • Hip stiffness that restricts leg mobility
  • Insufficient pain relief from walking supports, prescriptions, or physical therapy
  • Persistent hip pain, whether resting or in motion
  • Discomfort that restricts everyday actions, like bending or walking

Common Hip Pain-Causing Conditions

The most common condition that causes hip discomfort and disability is arthritis, with rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis being its usual forms:

  • Osteoarthritis

In osteoarthritis, the hipbone’s cartilage cushion wears away, causing bone friction that brings the characteristic discomfort. This ailment is typically seen in individuals with a family history of arthritis and in those aged 50 and older. In some cases, it may also have been caused by irregularities in how the hip developed during childhood.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the synovial membrane develops inflammation and thickens, can cause cartilage damage, leading to hip stiffness and aching.

  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis

This condition usually follows a fracture or severe hip injury. In post-traumatic arthritis, the cartilage may become damaged, leading to reduced mobility and pain.