Your hip joint is formed by the upper part of your thigh-bone (head of femur) and a shallow cup-like part of your pelvis known as the acetabulum. This ‘ball and socket’ arrangement is known as a deep joint, well positioned and surrounded by layers of muscle to give the joint excellent mobility and strength.
When a hip is damaged for any reason, it can cause pain and stiffness in the joint. While many people are able to tolerate a mild hip pain, if the pain is severe or long-lasting, they realise they need some kind of treatment. Many people see a doctor for help when the pain is bad enough to interrupt their sleep.
Hip pain is usually treated non-surgically at first, with treatments including:
These are often able to successfully relieve the pain, or to delay the need for hip surgery. Should these treatments not work or stop being as effective, hip surgery might be advised.
Most people need hip surgery because of osteoarthritis in the hip joint. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK and can affect all ages.
As we age, our joints experience natural ‘wear and tear’ through our everyday movements and activities. Osteoarthritis causes an increased breakdown of the smooth cartilage lining the end of the bones in the hip joint, leading to joint degradation. When this happens in your hip, you’ll probably start to find your normal everyday movements and activities becoming painful and more challenging.
Hip replacement surgery removes the damaged, worn hip joint and replaces it with a new artificial one, called a prosthesis. The new joint is able to move freely, without causing pain or stiffness.
Hip replacement surgery is also sometimes needed for other reasons, including a hip fracture, rheumatoid arthritis or the death of bone tissue due to its blood supply being cut off (avascular necrosis).
Our Consultant Hip Surgeons can offer a range of hip surgeries, including: