What is a Hip Replacement?

The human hip joint has been wearing out since the beginning of time. Up until the early 1960s there were ineffectual treatments for arthritic hips. Patients with this diagnosis suffered with painful symptoms, walked with a limp, abandoned their life activities…and there were no good solutions. Sir John Charnley performed the first total hip replacement operation at Wrightington Hospital (UK) in 1962. The surgery involved opening the hip, removing the femoral ball and neck, machining the socket, placing a new socket and a new liner. A peg was placed in the top of the thigh bone with an attached femoral ball. The wound was closed, and the hip replaced. Hip replacement has been one of the most successful endeavors in any field of surgery. The ability to stay active, maintain family and work responsibilities, care for oneself and loved ones, avoid the unpleasantness of life in care facilities, and overall health were life changing restorations with this medical advance. There are numerous techniques and types of hip replacement. Finding an experienced surgeon that is well versed in joint conditions and treatments and can informatively discuss recommended treatment is imperative to a favorable outcome.