What is Hip Joint?

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that connects the pelvis and the thighbones. The hip socket is called the acetabulum and actually forms a deep cup that surrounds the ball of the upper thighbone or femoral head. A smooth, slippery, fibrous connective tissue called articular cartilage acts as a protective cushion between bones inside the joint.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis develops as the cartilage begins to deteriorate or is lost because of wear and tear as part of aging or because of disease like Rheumatoid arthritis. As the articular cartilage is lost, joint space between the bones become narrow. This is an early sign of arthritis and is easily seen on X-Rays. Slowly over time bone ends rub against each other and wear away. This results in progressive pain and shortening. Normal activity becomes painful and difficult. Pain can even interfere with simple daily activities.

Common arthritis symptoms include pain, stiffness, some loss of joint motion, deformity, limp and shortening of limb.

Common Causes of Arthritis:

  • Primary  osteoarthritis typically affects patients over 50 years of age, but is uncommon in India
  • It is more common in persons who are overweight, or suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis or Ankylosing spondylitis. In some patients arthritis tends to run in families.
  • Other factors that can contribute to developing hip arthritis include injury to the hip (Acetabulum fracture or after fracture neck of femur), developmental abnormalities like dysplastic hip and Perthe’s disease

Treatment Options of Hip arthritis:

  • Conservative treatment does not have a significant role in management, once hip arthritis has set in.
  • Initial treatment includes medications for pain relief, weight control and physical therapy.
  • If all these fail to produce satisfactory response, one should consider hip replacement as the last resort treatment.

Types of Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Different options offered to the patients depends on the severity of patient’s condition and the doctor’s judgment. These include:

  • Femoral Hemi-arthroplasty: (Replacement of half a hip).
  • Total Hip Replacement (THR)
  • Cemented prosthesis
  • Un-cemented prosthesis
  • Hybrid Total Hip Replacement

     hip replacement surgery           

Procedure

The Joint is opened after separating the muscle and cutting through the capsule. The worn and damaged surface of bone and cartilage from upper end of femur (thigh bone) and pelvis are removed and shaped to accept the prosthetic implants.  These surfaces are replaced with metal and plastic / ceramic implants which closely mimic natural hip motion and function.

Benefits of Total Hip Replacement

After the completion of healing, the patient will have improved quality of life due to the ability to return to normal activities.
The benefits of THR are:

  • Reduced joint pain
  • Increased movement mobility and stability
  • Correction of deformity
  • Increased leg strength

Precautions after Total Hip Replacement Surgery

The precautions to be followed during the first eight weeks are:

  1. Always use the walker, crutches or cane as advised.
  2. Do not sleep sideways until instructed by physician.
  3. Do not cross the legs at the knees or ankles.
  4. Do not bend the hip beyond a 90º angle. Low chairs and Indian style toilet, to be avoided.

If in doubt about any activity, consult your Surgeon before performing it.