With improved healthcare, the average human lifespan is extending. This is a good thing, as our loved ones are now living longer and healthier. But at the same time, this increased life expectancy has brought about some joint related problems, specifically to their hips and knees, due to the extended use and weight borne by these joints.
There are several reasons that make hip replacement surgery necessary. As mentioned previously, one reason would be severe pain in the hip resulting from a number of factors. Other causes could include the destruction of the hip joint, usually from fractures, which causes leg shortening; severe limping caused by hip pains, and restricted mobility to the hip joint due to hip pathology.
Sometimes only the femur head is replaced in a procedure that is called Hemiarthroplasty. However in total hip replacement surgeries, both the femur head and the acetabulum which is the socket in the pelvis, are replaced. The necessity of either procedure is dependent on the needs and requirements of the patient.
In knee replacement surgery, surgery is conducted if the patient is suffering from severe knee pain and the destruction of the knee joint, usually caused by bone trauma. In some cases, the surgery is also performed to correct varus and valgus deformity, where the joints in the knee experience an angulation, which causes the function of the knee to be reduced.
Certain diseases can also create a need for hip or knee replacement surgery. Osteoporosis can cause bone degeneration which leads to stiffness and joint swelling, rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation, traumatic arthritis as a result of injury, septic L arthritis which causes joints to break down and vascular necrosis, breaking cartilage.
Replacement surgery is only conducted as a last resort if there are no other ways of relieving the pain that the patient is suffering from.