Learn about Total Hip Replacement Surgery, Denver
Anatomy of the Hip
Hip replacements are generally related to need, not age. The hip joint is a “ball and socket” joint that is formed by two main parts:
- The round head of the femur (the ball) and
- The acetabulum (the cup or socket in your pelvis)
This structure allows the leg to move forwards, backwards, sideways and in a rotating fashion.
In a normal hip joint these two bones are coated with smooth articular cartilage that allows them to move against each other without friction or pain. In an arthritic or damaged hip, the cartilage layers are destroyed and bone rubs against bone causing pain and limiting motion. Hip joints damaged by injury or disease (such as arthritis) can be extremely painful, making everyday activities like walking or sitting down difficult.
How are Hip Problems Diagnosed?
Your surgeon will take a complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Along with these, the following diagnostic procedures may be performed:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT scan)
Hip Replacement Surgery
In total hip replacement, the orthopedic surgeon replaces an arthritic or injured joint with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. There are three basic parts to the artificial joint are:
- The acetabulum cup is a metal shell with a plastic liner which is placed into your hip socket
- The femoral head (ball) snaps onto the stem and rotates just like a natural hip in the hip socket
- The femoral stem is a metal shaft that is inserted into your thigh bone
The cup and stem are either cemented in place or designed to have your own bone grow and adhere to the implant. The type of replacement joint and how it is inserted into your hip will be selected by your surgeon based on your age, bone density, medications and anatomy.
Anterior Approach for Hip Replacement
When appropriate, our surgeons use an advanced technique called direct anterior approach for hip replacement. This technique involves a three-to four-inch incision on the front of the hip that allows the surgeon to spare muscle by gently working around it rather than cutting through it. It also reduces the risk of dislocation and has been shown to decrease pain and lead to a shorter recovery time. Your surgeon will discuss this option with you to determine if you are a good candidate for this technique.
Our top surgeons are available to consult with you. Call now for an appointment 720-460-2565.