Anatomy of the hip

Understanding hip replacement surgery

If you are considering hip replacement it is helpful to have some information on how the hip works particularly in relation to your specific condition. Dr. Nitin Goyal is an orthopedic surgeon of distinction, attracting patients from NYC and beyond. He has found that providing his patients with basic information about the hip helps them with decisions about their own care.

During consultations with Dr. Goyal, patients are encouraged to ask questions so that they understand the anatomy of the hip and how hip replacement will help them. To get started, he has provided some basic information that can both educate patients and spark other areas of discussion concerning their surgery.

Hip anatomy basics

There are two joints in the body that stand out from the rest; the hip joint and the shoulder joint. These two joints provide the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body and of those two, the hip joint is the powerhouse that makes it possible to walk, run and jump.

The hip is formed by the union of the top of the femur, or thigh bone to the side of the pelvis. The femur, which is the longest bone in the body, has a ball shaped protrusion at the top which fits snugly into a socket shaped pocket in the pelvis. It is held in place by an intricate system of ligaments and muscles which provides the locomotive power to move the leg freely in a full circle as well as side-to-side.

Keeping the two bone surfaces from painfully rubbing together is a thick pad of cartilage on both surfaces. The cartilage also acts as a shock absorber keeping the bone surfaces from crushing together when moving. The cartilage is kept moist by a thin membrane which provides a watery fluid to lubricate the joint.

The hip joint keeps us moving

Throughout our lives each hip joint bears half of our weight alternately as we perform our daily routines. The hip joints bear the extra weight of pregnancy or other weight gain as well as the added weight of anything we lift. This joint also bears the stress and shock of playing sports, working in strenuous jobs and from accidents. It is a pretty remarkable feat of engineering which stands up to much abuse.

Eventually some people find the hip joint is performing less efficiently. There may be pain when getting out of bed or rising from a chair. The joint might make popping noises. It may become painful to walk. All of these conditions can be the beginning of joint degeneration. Hip replacement surgeons see a wide range of hip disorders not just in seniors but also in younger people.

Hip replacement surgery

The trend for hip replacement surgery is on the rise. The most common reason for this surgery is arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis. Childhood hip diseases can cause problems with the surface of the hip structure in later life even when the condition was successfully treated earlier.

NYC like other metropolitan areas is experiencing the effects of the baby boomer generation entering their senior years. Millions of aging and active Americans are seeking help for hip pain because unlike earlier generations, they are not content with modifying their lives when there are options.

Usually patients have been using medication, exercise and lifestyle changes as a strategy to postpone surgery. Doctors may recommend surgery when these strategies are no longer effective and are causing a decrease in quality of life. Pain that limits walking, or any usual activity, or pain that isn’t reduced by medication or when resting are indications that surgery is possibly the next step.

Hip replacement is highly successful

With modern advances in surgical technique as well as the development of modern age artificial hip replacement parts, hip replacement is highly successful. Dr. Goyal specializes in both hip and knee replacement and has found the surgery to dramatically improve quality of life for his patients and their families.

Hip replacement surgeons have been performing this surgery since it was introduced in 1960. It has become one of the most successful types of surgery performed in America. Last year there were over 330,000 hip replacement surgeries in the US performed in centers with a high population of seniors such as New Jersey and Los Angeles. World class surgeons using high tech materials can now restore a quality of life to their patients that is unparalleled in medical history.

Am I a candidate?

You and your doctor will discuss your options based on the degree of improvement that hip replacement surgery would likely produce. Assuming that surgery is your next step, the usual medical tests would need to be done to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery.

There are no age or weight restrictions on hip replacement surgery candidates. If this is an option you would like to consider, contact Dr. Goyal for a consultation. In this way you can get all of your questions answered and receive recommendations from a specialist with countless successful procedures to his credit.

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