Hip Damage and Replacement

If a human hip is substantially damaged, the hip can be replaced with an artificial hip.

The most common cause of damage to the hip joint that requires a hip implant is osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis is a disease linked most commonly to aging.  Osteoarthritis causes, among other things, degeneration of the articular cartilage and/or the underlying bones.  Advanced osteoarthritis leaves the articular cartilage so rough and pitted that the femoral head no longer slides smoothly over the surface of the acetabulum causing severe pain and discomfort with virtually any movement within the hip joint.  Other disease such as osteonecrosis, which derives from a diminished blood flow to the femoral head, can also damage the hip joint leading to the necessity of a hip replacement.  Other factors, such as bone tumors and trauma, can also lead to the breakdown of the hip joint and necessity of a subsequent hip replacement surgery.

During the hip replacement procedure, the orthopedic surgeon makes an 8-inch incision over the side of the hip, separates the soft tissues in order to enter the joint capsule and then dislocates the femoral head from the acetabulum.  The surgeon then removes diseased cartilage from the acetabulum and replaces it with the acetabular prosthesis-a new “cup” to hold a new femoral head.  Next, the surgeon removes the entire diseased femoral head from the femur.  The stem of the new femoral head prosthesis is inserted into the hollow center portion of the femur.  To complete the procedure, the “ball” of the new femoral head is placed within the cup, proper alignment is confirmed and the incisions closed.  The patient now has a new artificial hip joint.

Hip replacement surgery is very common in the United States with significantly more than 90 percent of hip replacements considered successful in that they require no further surgical intervention.

Unfortunately this has not been the case with the DePuy ASR and some other artificial hips. If you have had a hip replacement and the artificial hip is defective – call us at 1.800.862.1260.
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