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When you are suffering from chronic hip pain, one of the potential solutions you may consider is a hip replacement. As with any surgery, the best advice is to ask lots of questions so that you know as much as possible.
For instance, factors you and your doctor will want to consider when a hip replacement implant is chosen include things such as:
Your doctor will look at these and other factors, such as fit of the device, arthritic damage to your joint, your activity level, weight and age, when choosing which device to use.
While your hip joint is comprised of two main components, a hip replacement implant uses four parts to create your new hip.
Acetabular (socket) is a bowl-shaped piece usually made of metal; however, it can be made of ceramic or a combination of metal and plastic.
Acetabular liner fits into the acetabular component, allowing the femoral head (ball) to move easier in the socket. Typically, this is usually made of high-quality plastic.
Femoral head (ball) fits into the plastic-lined socket and attaches to the femoral stem. These are made of metal, plastic, ceramic or a combination.
Femoral stem attaches to the ball. This piece allows for the natural bone to grow and attach to it, replacing the femur.
There are numerous models of hip replacement devices on the market. Chances are, your surgeon has a few brands and/or models he likes to use. One factor you and your doctor will look at is the make-up of the device.
In the United States, there are currently four types of total hip replacement devices available with different bearing surfaces, which include:
Metal-on-metal, where the ball and socket are both made of metal, are no longer actively used. As of May 16, 2016, there are “no FDA-approved metal-on-metal total hip replacement devices marketed for use in the U.S.” There are, however, patients that received a metal-on-metal device prior to this date.
Problems have arisen with some metal-on-metal hip replacement devices. The metal ball and cup slide against each other during everyday use (such as walking or running) causing friction that wears off tiny particles of debris. The hip implants can shed metal particles into the body causing metallosis. Over time, the metal particles around some implants can cause damage to the bone and/or tissue surrounding the implant and joint.
Every hip replacement device has unique benefits and risks. Your orthopaedic surgeon will determine, based on his experience, which device offers you the most benefit with the least risk. (Please note, these are just some of the basics with hip replacement devices; there are many more to consider.)
More blog articles related to hip replacements.
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