Your hip consists of two main parts that fit together like a ball and socket: the femoral head at the top of the leg and acetabulum in your pelvis.
A total hip replacement is usually done when severe damage from arthritis or injury has made it difficult to perform daily activities.
During the procedure, the femoral head and acetabulum are replaced with artificial components called prostheses.
An artificial hip prosthesis consists of a cup called the acetabular component and a metal stem called the femoral component.
Your surgeon will begin by making an incision overlying your hip and separating the muscles and ligaments to expose the joint capsule.
After incising the capsule, your surgeon will dislocate the femoral head from the acetabulum.
He or she will remove any damaged cartilage or bone in the acetabulum, reshape the acetabular socket, and secure the acetabular prosthesis in place using special cement or screws.
Turning next to the femur, your surgeon will remove the femoral head, shape the remaining femur to fit the prosthetic stem, and secure the femoral component using cement or other techniques.
Once both components are firmly in place, your surgeon will slide the prosthetic femoral head into its acetabular counterpart, test the movement of your new hip joint, and verify that it is properly positioned with an x-ray.
Your surgeon will then close the joint capsule, repair the muscles, place a drain in your hip to remove excess fluid, and close the incision with stitches or staples.