Total and partial joint replacement has become common for diseases of the hip, knee, elbow, hand, wrist, and ankle. These procedures use metal alloys, high-grade plastics, and polymeric materials. Orthopedic surgeons can replace a painful, dysfunctional joint with a highly functional, long-lasting prosthesis. Over the past half-century, there have been many advances in the design, construction, and implantation of artificial joints, resulting in a high percentage of successful long-term outcomes. Conditions that may benefit from joint replacement include:
- Avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis)
- Failed previous replacement surgery
- Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
- Post-traumatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The hip joint is a “ball and socket” joint made up of the top of the femur (thigh bone) forming the ball and the acetabulum (portion of the pelvis) forming the pelvis. The hip is surrounded by strong tendons, ligaments, and muscles that add to the stability of this joint. The structures around the joint, as well as the joint itself, can cause symptoms of varying disorders. Arthritis is a disease in which the cartilage on the end of the bones irreversibly wears away, and this commonly affects the hip joint. Conditions in the hip joint often cause pain in the groin or front of the thigh. Some of the most common hip problems include:
Arthritis: Occurs when the cartilage of a joint surface is injured. Arthritis can cause pain, swelling, and loss of motion.
Avascular Necrosis (AVN) or Osteonecrosis: This means “death of bone.” This can occur in different joints of the body, but the hip is the most common site for this condition. The bone beneath the cartilage of the femoral head (thigh bone) dies, and this can lead to premature arthritis.
Bursitis: Inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that is found where tendons pass by bony surfaces. Trochanteric bursitis is a very common condition that causes pain and tenderness on the side of the hip.
Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI): A condition where abnormal abutment between the thigh bone (femur) and socket of the pelvis (acetabulum) leads to damage to the cartilage or surrounding structures. This can cause pain, loss of motion, catching sensations, and occasional feelings of instability.
Fractures: Fractures of the bones, or broken bones that occur as a result of a fall or more serious trauma. Stress fractures may occur due to overuse, as in excessive high impact training. In this latter condition, the bone has not completely broken, but intervention (activity modification or, occasionally, surgery) is needed to prevent a complete fracture.
Tendonitis: Inflammation or pain along a tendon. Tendons are the structures that connect your muscles to your bones. Tendons in the hip that can experience tendonitis are the hamstring tendons, quadriceps tendons, and abductor tendons.