What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a
progressive condition of the
joints. The cartilage breaks down until the bones,
which were once separated by cartilage, rub against each other, resulting in
damage to the tissue and underlying bone. The symptoms of osteoarthritis
include joint pain, stiffness after inactivity, and limited motion.
What surgeries may be considered to treat osteoarthritis?
Surgery is an option for people with severe
osteoarthritis who do not get pain relief from medicine, home treatment, or
other methods and who have significant loss of cartilage. Surgery relieves
severe, disabling pain and may restore joint function and mobility. Surgical
which can provide temporary (and sometimes long-term) relief of symptoms of
osteoarthritis. Arthroscopy can also fix a joint if it becomes "locked" or
stuck due to loose
cartilage or bone fragments.
- Osteotomy, used in cases of developmental hip
deformity and in other cases of abnormality of the legs in active people
younger than 60. Doctors use osteotomy to prevent development of severe hip
- Hip replacement surgery, considered in
cases of pain coupled with disability and deterioration of the hip that is
visible on X-rays.
- Arthrodesis, surgery that joins (fuses)
two bones in a diseased joint so that the joint can no longer move. It is
rarely used in the hips because of eventual knee and back
- Hip resurfacing surgery, which doctors use primarily
for younger, more active people with pain and disability due to hip
deterioration. No long-term results are available yet, but short-term results
are positive up to about 8 years after surgery.2 One
large study suggests that hip resurfacing results are good. But the risk of
needing the surgery redone are a little higher than with a standard hip
What happens in hip replacement surgery?
replacement surgery replaces the upper end of the thighbone (femur) with a
metal ball and resurfaces the hip socket in the pelvic bone with a metal shell
and plastic liner. Doctors can use cement to attach replacement joints to the
What should I expect after hip replacement surgery?
Most people get out of bed with help on the day after surgery. You will
physical therapy, which will require weeks of special
exercises, and you may need crutches or a walker during this time. Total
rehabilitation (rehab) after surgery will take at least 6 months.
After rehab, you will probably be able to do your daily activities more
easily, because the joint moves better and you will have less pain. It probably
will be easier to climb stairs, walk without tiring, play golf, and resume
other activities that you did before surgery.
If you need more information, see the topic