Your Total Hip Replacement Your Total Hip Replacement : Page 1

What Is a Total Hip Replacement? A Total Hip Replacement refers to the replacement of the worn and damaged bones that make up your hip joint with artificial parts. There are two implanted components that replace the deteriorated joint surfaces: The FEMORAL COMPONENT consists of a metal stem inserted into the upper femur (thigh bone). A metal or ceramic ball is placed on top of this stem. It is critical that the stem remain absolutely stable within the upper femur. This is accomplished by encouraging bone to grow into and onto the stem or by use of bone cement. The ACETABULAR COMPONENT consists of a hemispherical shell made out of titanium that is precisely positioned within your hip socket. First, your natural socket is prepared and reshaped, so after placement any mechanical abnormality that led to the arthritic condition is corrected and bone grows into and onto the titanium shell. A plastic liner with special wear characteristics is then implanted into this new cup and the prosthetic ball is placed into the new socket. Now the arthritic surfaces no longer rub together and the ball can move freely as motion is restored. The “art” is to optimally position the components and balance the surrounding tissues so that pain is relieved and the hip functions normally again. PELVIC ALIGNMENT LEVEL™ (PAL) I use a devise that I invented called the Pelvic Alignment Level™ (PAL) to assist in optimizing acetabular cup positioning. This surgical device allows me to measure and correct for pelvic movement during the operation and directly measure cup implantation angles, which are absolutely critical. Also, very importantly, I am able to measure my patient’s leg length before and after the total hip reconstruction, so I can reliably re-create equal leg lengths after surgery. 3

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