There are currently many options in orthopedic (bone) surgery for people with arthritis. Joint replacement is the most common option. According to the National Joint Replacement Foundation, (NJRF) over 435,000 Americans underwent this procedure last year. These numbers have boosted joint replacement to one of the most successful medical discoveries and the absolute most significant surgery in the field of arthritis treatment.
Joint replacement is the process of removing ones entire joint as well as any damaged tissue and replacing it with a metal prosthesis. This prosthesis provides the patient with much need relief from pain. This surgery most effective on the weight bearing joints such as the knees, hips, and ankles, however, it has been used for all joints with successful results.
Hip replacement surgery consists of removing the entire hip joint and replacing it with artificial components. These components function in the same manner as the natural hip, with the same type of motion. When a patient elects to undergo hip replacement surgery, they have an option to use their own blood. There is a great loss of blood during the procedure, and patients are prepared for this ahead of time. They can elect to have their own blood taken and stored ahead of time so that when they need a transfusion, they can use blood from their own body, eliminating many of the risks associated with transfusions.
This particular procedure begins with an initial incision. The surgeon will then proceed to remove the entire hip joint, including the ball, socket, and top of the femur. Once the joint, and all damaged tissue is removed, a metal cup is adhered to the pelvic bone. Then, a metal stem is inserted into the femur; leaving a portion exposed at the end for several inches. The doctors place a ball on the end of the exposed portion of the metal rod, and all of the exposed parts are lined with another antifriction material. The hip is reassembled, placing the ball joint into the socket and the incision is then closed.