Hip Joint Replacement

With the growing age, many aging factors start increasing and make the life troublesome. One of such factors is degeneration of bones and joint problems. Joint diseases affects the mobility and make one handicapped and to have restricted movement only. With the aging; men and women equally face such problems and need precautions to minimize such situations.

Hip joint is one of the most stable joints of our body and plays a very vital role in the movement. Hip joint is formed where the thigh bones meet with the three bones making pelvis. The type of the joint is very much like the shoulder joint. It is also a ball and socket joint like our shoulder joint. Yet it is more stable than the shoulder joint. Similarly, the structure is also stable like the joint, if we talk in term of layers; we can say that the deepest layer is constructed by the bones which are then covered with ligaments while nerves and vessels are on the top.  The hip joins the leg to the trunk of the body at the hip joint. Thus the whole connection of legs with the body is dependent on the hip joint. The stability is supplied by the thick ligament. The bone that functions is called femur which is the longest bone in the body. The internal anatomy of a normal hip joint is shown above.  

 The stability of the hip is increased by the ligament which surrounds the hip. These ligaments completely encompass the joint and form a capsule. These ligaments are the strongest ligaments in the body. Any injury to one of them leads to the breakdown of the artery which supplies blood to the femur. Death of the bone in the femoral head becomes the cause of hip joint replacement.

The hip joint injury can be both; traumatic or the break with the aging. In both cases it leads to arthritis and in some severe cases even the hip joint replacements. Hip bone may suffer pain on account of the muscles surrounding the hip bone. There is very less fluid in the hip joint and this does not allow femoral head to glide in socket.

Any inflammation can cause the space to be filled with the fluid which result in the stretch that the joint feels and person feels severe pain but this condition can be controlled with the exercise, medicine and proper rest or even the weight management. It does not lead to the joint replacement.

The case is severe in traumatic conditions. Falls are the most common reason that an elderly person breaks their hip with. The fall is mainly because of two reasons. One is aging and the other is loss of balance. These two risk factors become the cause of many falls. The bone may break instantly or spontaneously due to osteoporosis. Only the diagnosis that the bone is fractured is not sufficient. The exact location of the fracture is very important to know because it helps surgeon to decide which type of operation is needed.

Continuous trauma and stress can also result in hip bone pain. The reason may be that the femur connecting the pelvis bones has lost its relationship.

In severe cases where no other thing works, a hip joint is replaced. Hip joint replacement is the replacement of hip or a part of hip with the artificial joint which is known as prosthesis. The artificial bone has four parts:

  • An artificial socket that replaces your socket and is made of metal.
  • The liner which is made of plastic or some other ceramic. This liner allows your hip to move smoothly.
  • The ball which will be around your thigh bone.
  • A metal stem that is attached to shaft so that the joint is more stable.

The surgery may bring a name of fear in patients but let me tell you there is nothing terrifying in it. It is simple and becoming very common now a days. Your surgeon performs simple operation rather replacement and you are back to the world.

You will be anesthetic when your surgeon will open your hip joint. You may be made unconscious by the use of some anesthetic medicine or making numb the part below your waist. In this way you will not feel any sort of pain in your below part.

The simple steps that a surgeon performs include:

  • Removal the head of thigh bone
  • Cleansing of the socket and the remaining of cartilage and part of damaged bone
  • Putting of the new socket joint and stabilizing it by the stem which is connected to thigh bone
  • Securing all parts of the joint with special cement. This is for holding all parts together in a secure way and to make sure that it may not be dislocated.
  • Replacement of a ball and a liner that helps your body to fit in the new joint. It is like making a frame adjustable for a specific object or preparing an object quite adjustable for the frame.
  • Repairing of the muscles and tendons around the new joint.
  • The last step after performing all the above is the closing of surgical cut.

The surgery may take time from 1 hour to 3 hours. Once the surgery is performed, patient is advised to have rest of few days and avoid carrying of heavy weight.  

By Ammarah Khan


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