The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint made up of the top of the thigh bone or femur (ball) and the acetabulum (socket) in the pelvis. The ends of the bone, as with all joints, are covered with a smooth, cushioning layer called articular cartilage. The articular cartilage is what allows the bones to glide smoothly. When arthritis wears this cartilage down to bare bone, the results can range from minor stiffness (and sometimes a clicking or catching sensation) to persistent pain and limited range of motion.
In this series of videos, Thomas P. Sculco, MD discusses total hip replacement surgery, including the causes, treatments, risks, benefits and the future of total hip replacement surgery.
When symptoms progress to limiting pain - particularly night pain that interrupts sleep - and stiffness that cannot be controlled with anti-inflammatory medications, as well as difficulty engaging in everyday activities, a total hip replacement (or, in some cases, a hip resurfacing procedure) should be considered to ease pain and restore functionality.