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Your hip is a ball and socket joint and serves as the largest weight-bearing joint in your body. It connects your thighbone to the pelvis and is surrounded by cartilage, muscles and ligaments.

It helps you to walk and move, and unfortunately, over time, can become damaged through constant wear and tear, known as arthritis. Arthritis can hinder every day activities. When non-operative treatments no longer provide relief, hip replacement surgery may be the best option.




Large side image Replaced hip Alteon Tapered Wedge 1

Hip replacement surgery removes the diseased portions of your bones and replaces them with artificial components made of high-quality medical plastic and metal. Specifically, the diseased hip ball is removed and replaced with an artificial ball on a stem that goes down into the hollow part of the thighbone. The stem is then either pressed or cemented into place. A metallic shell and cup-shaped liner are placed in the hip socket and then the ball and socket are joined together.

There are two common surgical approaches for this procedure: the posterior approach and the minimally-invasive anterior approach. As the gold standard for more than 40 years, the posterior approach cuts through the buttock muscles to reach the hip joint.2  In comparison, the anterior approach reaches the hip joint through an incision made in the front of the hip. Learn more about the anterior approach by clicking here.

Surgery can last between one and two hours, and more time may be added for additional care before and after surgery. Learn more about surgical preparation and recovery time by reading this brochure.







2 - Robinson, R., Robinson, H., Salvati, E. A. Comparison of the transtrochanteric and posterior surgical approaches for total hip replacement. Clin. Orthop. 147:143– 147, 1980.