Hip Joint Replacement
The hip is a ball and socket joint where the socket (acetabulum) is part of your pelvis and the ball that connects to it is the top part of your leg bone (femur). A healthy hip has smooth cartilage that covers the ball and lines the socket. The cartilage allows the two bones to fit together and roll smoothly. Your hip joint is surrounded by muscles and ligaments to support your weight and allow your joint to work efficiently.
Severe pain and decreased movement can result when the cushion of cartilage wears away in a hip joint affected by osteoarthritis or other diseases. The joint bones rub against each other, becoming rough, pitted, and irritated. When severe pain or decreased movement affects the hip joint and other
forms of treatment are not successful, many times a hip joint replacement is necessary. The diseased hip joint is replaced with an artificial hip joint called a prosthesis.
At St. Vincent's HealthCare, approximately 600 hip joint replacements are done each year. The average hospital stay is three days, with an average time of one to two months before the patient can return to work.