The hip joint is a ball and socket joint made up of the head of the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum (socket) of the pelvis. A thick cushiony layer of articular cartilage covers the femoral head and acetabulum. The rim of the acetabulum is lined with a rubbery piece of cartilage called the labrum, which deepens the socket and makes the hip a very stable joint.
Significant trauma to the hip can cause fractures of the femoral head and neck, as well as, fractures of the pelvis. Less severe trauma may cause tears of the labrum or damage to the articular cartilage. The degenerative effects of aging can cause the articular cartilage to thin over time, eventually resulting in bone rubbing on bone. This condition is called osteoarthritis and can become very painful and debilitating.
Some people are more prone to developing osteoarthritis in the hip based on hereditary factors. However, maintaining an optimal weight, proper nutrition, and regular exercise have been shown to be helpful in fostering joint health. When the pain from disease in the hip becomes severe and disabling, joint replacement surgery has allowed patients to return to an active pain-free lifestyle. Recent advances in technique and the materials used have revolutionized hip replacement surgery.
To learn more about total hip replacement surgery, visit www.zimmerbiomet.com/patients-caregivers/hip.html