Todays Hip replacement operations are now so well perfected that they can help to restore mobility and relieve pain in at least 95% of cases.
It is a surgical procedure which involves removing or relining both of the articular surfaces in the ball and socket joint of the hip. The articular surface is the area where the joint moves and for various reasons this surface can become diseased or eroded away.
This exposes bone without the cartilaginous protection that forms the articular surface. When this happens, pain due to inflammation of bone articulating or rubbing against other bone, occurs and will only subside gradually when the movement stops.
In other words walking and weight bearing through the hip joint will produce pain, stopping only on resting. The operation usually involves replacing the head of the Femur (the bone at the top of your leg that articulates in the hip joint) with a metal prosthesis, or artificial head.
The lining of the hip joint will be relined with either a metal, plastic or cement lining. Both the new femoral head and the socket lining being made of artificial material will be able to articulate but as they do not contain any natural nerve fibres, they will not produce pain.
Muscles around the hip joint have to be cut to enable the replacement and it is normal to undergo Physiotherapy treatment to aim at restoring muscle tone and improve stability.
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