A total hip replacement replaces your arthritic hip joint and eliminates the damaged bearing surfaces that are causing pain. The design of the implant offers you renewed stability and minimizes the wear process. The traditional metal and polyethylene implants have been in use since the 1960’s but technological advances since then have made other materials such as ceramic increasingly popular.
During a hip replacement, the head of the femur (thigh bone) is first removed. Then a metal liner or cup is placed in the socket (acetabulum) which sometimes is fixed into the socket with 2 or 3 screws. Into this is placed a plastic, metal or ceramic liner. The femur has a metal stem inserted then a ball fitted on top. This ball can be anything from 28mm to 58mm in diameter and made from metal or ceramic. The ball is fitted into the cup and the new joint is created.
In terms of fixation, your surgeon has the choice of anchoring the hip implants securely to bone using either cement fixation or fixation by ‘bone in-growth’.
Your surgeon will select the design of the hip replacement and size of femoral ball to give you the range of motion and stability that you need to function. There are several different choices of hip implants to consider, each using varying materials and having different pros and cons.