Hip implants are the most common orthopedic procedure. A hip replacement surgery is performed when an arthritis, injury or other medical illnesses damage the hip joint. An implant is used to replace the ball and socket of the hip joint.
There are many types of hip implants: metal on metal, metal on plastic, metal on polyethylene, ceramic on ceramic. Metal and plastic implants are the most common. The ball and the socket of the hip joint are removed and implanted with a metal prosthesis with a plastic spacer in between.
Titanium, stainless steel, and cobalt chrome are the common metal used and the plastic is made of polyethylene. The implant is attached to the bone by either press-fit or cementing into place. With pressed in implants, new bone forms around the prosthetic securing it firmly. A special bone cement is used when the implant is cemented in. Both options securely hold the implant in place.
Hip replacement operations are highly successful in relieving pain and restoring movement. However, the ongoing problems with wear and particulate debris may eventually necessitate further surgery, including replacing the implant. Patients who weigh more than 165 lb have higher rates of failure. The chance of a hip replacement lasting 20 years is approximately 80%.
There are risks and sometimes long recovery times. Only after a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon can you know if hip replacement is the right choice or option for you.