The Shoulder Pain Clinic

Hip Replacement

Orthopedic Hip Surgery and Replacement

Hip arthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the hip joint, and often leads to a significant impairment in the quality of life. The ability to walk, work and live pain free can be adversely affected. Approximately 43 million Americans suffer from arthritis and many of them are affected in the hip joint. In general, the treatment of hip arthritis involves activity modification, exercises, and treatment with anti-inflammatory medications. The use of assist devices such as canes, crutches or walkers can also be helpful. Occasionally surgical reconstruction such as total hip replacement is necessary.

What is the hip joint and what does it do?

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The acetabulum, or socket, is formed by three areas of the pelvic structure: the ilium, the ischium, and the pubis. The femoral head is the “ball”, which is located on the upper end of the femur. There is a high degree of fit and stability within this ball and socket joint. It is stabilized by strong ligaments in the front of the hip which prevent dislocation. Both the femoral head and the acetabulum are covered with a layer of cartilage which provides shock absorption and load distribution within the hip. This cartilage is also a source of nutrition for the joint. Numerous muscles play an important role in the stability of the hip, one of which is the gluteus medius. This is a deep muscle within the buttock, and its proper function is important in normal walking.