Hip replacement surgery helps patients with severe hip pain to regain mobility and relieve joint pain. Hip fractures and natural wear and tear are also common problems that require a total hip replacement surgery. A hip replacement procedure involves removing the diseased or damaged parts of your hip joint and inserting an artificial joint or hip replacement implant.

Your surgeon will choose a hip replacement implant for you based on arthritis damage, your weight, fit, activity level, age, and other lifestyle factors. Choosing the right implant is very important for a successful hip replacement surgery. 

You can work with your surgeon to select the best implant for you by having some knowledge about the different types of hip replacement implants. So, in this blog, I will tell you about the various common types of hip replacement implants so that you can participate in the discussion while choosing the implant that best suits your way of life. Lets first see what it means when we say a good hip replacement implant.

We can say a hip replacement implant is good of a patient if it-

  • Provides an expected lifespan of 15-20 or more years.
  • Allows for regular movements and activities.
  • Meets your specific needs, conditions, and any additional requirements you may have.
  • Has a solid history of use in people who have had joints replaced minimum 5-10 years ago.

Let’s Learn About The Various Components of A Hip Replacement Implant

The ball and socket are the two main parts of a natural hip joint. To create a new hip, four parts are introduced during total hip arthroplasty. These prosthetic components used in hip replacement surgery are the acetabular component, a plastic liner, a femoral head, and a femoral stem.

Acetabular Component (socket)

Your new socket is represented by this bowl-shaped piece. It fits in the resurfaced socket. This item is mostly built of metal. However, it is occasionally created with ceramic or combining plastic and metal.

Acetabular liner

Plastic liner is inserted into the acetabular component so that the femoral head (ball) can glide more easily and naturally into the socket. Typically, this component is created with top-notch quality plastic.

Femoral head (ball)

The ball is connected to the femoral stem and fits directly into the plastic lined socket. Material choices to create femoral heads include metal, plastic, ceramic, or a combination of these.

Femoral stem 

The stem supports the new hip joint by attaching to the ball. The metal piece that replaces your femur is usually porous, allowing your natural bone to grow on it.

Types Of Hip Replacement Implants

Hip implants are created to replicate the body’s natural movement. The size and material of the components are the main variations between implants. Metal, ceramic, polyethylene (plastic), or a combination of these materials are used to make hip implant components.

Metal-on-Polyethylene (MoP)

Metal-on-polyethylene hip implants, one of the most popular types, have been around since the 1960s. The socket is either lined with plastic or made entirely of polyethylene, and the ball is made of metal. 

The smooth surface of the plastic reduces friction as the ball slides inside the socket. 

However, MoP implants can generate plastic debris, which could potentially lead to implant failure. When materials break down, they may cause a condition called osteolysis, which occurs when inflammation destroys the bone and the implant becomes loose.

Metal-on-Metal (MoM)

In this type of implant the ball, stem, and socket were all made of metal. 

Ceramic-on-Polyethylene (CoP)

A ceramic ball is coupled with a polyethylene socket in ceramic-on-polyethylene devices. Plastic sockets can also be substituted for polyethylene linings in natural sockets.

Ceramic-on-Ceramic (CoC)

Devices having a ceramic head and a ceramic lining in the hip socket are known as “ceramic-on-ceramic” devices. According to a 20-year follow-up research, 88 percent of CoC implants overall survived.

Ceramic-on-Metal (CoM)

The socket has a metal liner, while the ball is made of ceramic. For people who are allergic to metals, ceramic materials are usually combined with special metal components.

How To Decide Which Is The Best Hip Replacement Implant For You?

Companies that supply implants have already begun reaching out to consumers directly with their advertisements. You might be persuaded by marketing to think that one implant is superior to others.

In fact, no one has the right to declare that a specific implant is the best. We can call a hip replacement implant right only if it allows you to continue doing all your normal activities and works fine for at least 15 to 20 years.

The majority of modern implants may not have a history to demonstrate their longevity, but technologically advanced implants might be the most appropriate for solving your particular problem.

Another crucial point for patients to understand is that using a hip replacement product from a certain brand does not guarantee its life. Performing joint replacement surgery correctly, precisely, and accurately is one of the most important factors in assuring the longevity of an artificial joint. 

Therefore, you must go to an experienced joint replacement surgeon with adequate training and a proven track record of positive results to get the best outcomes from your surgery.

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