The hip is a ball (femoral head) and socket (acetabulum) joint. A hip replacement becomes necessary once all medical treatments have been exhausted. The diseased hip joint becomes so badly damaged that, in spite of painkillers, it causes significant pain which interferes with your quality of life. The purpose of surgery is to relieve pain and therefore improve function and quality of life.
Hip replacement is one of the most successful operations performed and thousands are performed each year. Whilst for most patients a cemented or uncemented hip replacement is sufficient, it is not always the best option for young active males. Hip replacements can wear out requiring further surgery (revision) which can be technically difficult for the surgeon and a greater risk for the patient with a less predictable outcome.
Surgery either takes place under a general anaesthetic or with an anaesthetic injection in the back (spinal anaesthetic) with or without sedation. It involves resurfacing both the femoral head and acetabulum with a metal alloy which is extremely durable. By not violating the shaft of the femur (thigh bone) it makes revision surgery easier to perform, particularly on the femoral side.