The hip joint is the joint between the thigh bone (Femur) and the hip bone (Pelvis). It’s primary function is to support the weight of the body. The hip joint is a very important part which helps in retaining balance of human body. Medically, this joint is referred as the acetabulufemoral joint or ball and socket joint. The hip joint is a synovial joint that is formed by the rounded ball shape of head of femur and cuplike shape of hip bone (Pelvis) which is called acetabulum. Both joint surfaces are covered with a strong but lubricated layer of hyaline cartilage. This cartilage permits both the surfaces to slide against one another very easily during the movements. Healthy hip enables the leg to have a wide range of movements and helps retaining the balance of human body.
There are many causes for hip joint pain, like injury to the bones through the joint, avascular necrosis and osteoarthritis:
Avacular Necrosis: In this condition the femoral head loses a portion of it’s blood supply and this leads to collapse of the femoral head and degeneration of the hip joint. Avascular necrosis can be caused because of excess use of alchohol, fractures, dislocation of hip joint and long term cortisone treatment for other diseases.
Osteoarthritis: The degenerative disease osteoarthritis leads to destruction of cartilage of the hip joint. As the cartilage gets degenerated completely, the eroded surfaces of joint start rubbing against one another and patient starts feeling severe pain while performing any activity like walking, running, sitting, etc. Stiffness of the joint, limited or no motion and deformity of the joint can be other symptoms.
There are number of ways by which pain in hip can be relieved but when medical management fails and pain of the joint is still constant, replacing the hip joint is usually suggested.
Total hip replacement surgery involves replacing the ends of both bones in a damaged joint. In total hip replacement surgery, surgeon replaces the upper end of thigh bone (femur) with a metal ball and resurfaces the cup like shape of hipbone (pelvis) with a metal shell and plastic liner. The surgeon may fasten new implant to the bones with or without cement. This surgery can be completed through small incisions.
The hip joint replacement surgery is a very successful procedure proven to be safe and effective.