The hip is the ball and socket joint at which the thighbone (femur) and pelvic bone (acetabulum) meet. This area carries a lot of body weight, and as a result, is often placed under considerable stress. For this reason, it can be easily fractured or broken, especially when bone is brittle like the elderly. The hip replacement procedure is particularly common in elderly patients as bone density decreases with age. The hip replacement procedure is also known as arthroplasty and involves replacing damaged cartilage and bone with prosthetic components made from a variety of materials, such metal, ceramic, and plastic. In the certain cases like osteoporosis, hip fracture, and sometimes in elderly patients, surgical bone cement may be used to improve the seating of the prosthetic components within the bone.
Hip pain can be caused by several different conditions. Sports injuries, fractures, and labral tears can all cause severe pain and discomfort. Some other conditions that commonly cause hip pain are cartilage delamination, inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis and impingement. Another form of arthritis is Avascular Necrosis (AVN), whereby the oxygen rich blood supply to part of the femoral head is compromised resulting in dead bone. This has a variety of causes which may be further discussed with your surgeon, should it pertain to you. Additionally, arthritis following previous injuries – post traumatic arthritis may be responsible for hip pain. It is also possible for young patients to suffer from hip pain, although it is less common than it is in the elderly. However, young patients can have injuries to the tendons and muscles, and the labrum, which surrounds the femoral head, which in turn cause hip pain. It is also possible for young patients to suffer from inflammatory arthritis, as well as fractures.
It is quite common for elderly patients to fracture their hips. This is because bone density decreases with age and even just a minor fall can result in injury. Patients who have arthritis also often battle with activities of daily living, such as walking and even standing. If you suffer from arthritis, speak to your orthopaedic surgeon about the benefits of undergoing a hip replacement procedure as the procedure has long-term results and can improve quality of life considerably.
Those who have hip pain, hip stiffness, or deformity, which affects their functioning and quality of life will benefit from the procedure. As the disease responsible for the hip pain progresses, you may experience stiffness and eventually shortening of the affected leg. Some patients have difficulty opening their legs for necessary bodily functions. Those who have proven hip disease, and cannot manage their daily activities comfortably with a walking aid will benefit the most.
Watch the remarkable two week recovery of a 79 year old man after a hip replacement done by Dr NaiduREAD MORE ABOUT THE SURGERY >>