Hip replacement

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased parts of your hip are removed and replaced with new, artificial parts to relieve pain and improve function of the hip joint. Most commonly, hip replacement surgery is done when your hip joint wears down due to osteoarthritis (aws-TEE-o-ar-THRYE-tis). Other conditions, such as rheumatoid (rue-MAH-toyd) arthritis, injury, and bone tumors can also lead to breakdown of the hip joint. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint that allows a wide range of motion, including sitting, standing, and walking. During hip replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the diseased bone tissue and cartilage and replaces it with the new parts, usually made of plastic or metal. The healthy parts of your hip are left intact. In the past, hip replacement surgery was an option primarily for people over 60 years of age; however, doctors have found that it can be very successful in younger people as new technology has improved artificial parts, allowing them to withstand more stress and strain. Patients are allowed only limited movement immediately after surgery, but within two days after the procedure, therapists can teach the patient exercises that will improve recovery. Usually, people don't spend more than 10 days in the hospital after hip replacement surgery. Full recovery usually takes three to six months, depending on the type of surgery, the overall health of the patient, and the success of rehabilitation.

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