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During a total hip replacement or total hip arthroplasty, both parts of the hip joint are replaced by artificial implants or prostheses.

The femoral (or leg) implant has a stem that extends into the canal of the thigh bone; the acetabular (or hip) component is placed inside the socket, or cup-like structure, of the hip. The femoral implant then fits into the cup-like structure of the hip, this combination allows the worn out area of the hip to be replaced by an implant which restores natural movement.

A total hip replacement might have different objectives, depending on the type of disease that is being treated. The standard objectives include the following:

  • Improved movement, mobility and stabilization
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Improved alignment of deformed joints
  • Increased leg strength


Your doctor will likely prescribe walking aids such as a cane, medication and/or physical therapy before actually suggesting a hip replacement. These therapies might prove effective in relieving pain and improving the function of your hip joint, but they will not cure the underlying disorder. Most degenerative problems will finally require replacement of the painful hip with an artificial hip replacement.