Joint replacement is one of the most successful procedures in modern medicine.  The surgical treatment of hip arthritis and other disorders by hip replacement is typically very reliable in reduction of pain and improvement in function.  Total (also known as full or complete) hip replacement (THR) involves removal of the ball of the hip joint and resurfacing of the socket portion where the hip articulating surfaces are exposed, usually due to severe cartilage wear or joint damage.  The ball and socket are replaced with metal on both sides, and a durable plastic placed in between.  As such, there is no more bone rubbing on bone, but rather metal articulating with a new plastic bearing, thereby re-establishing the joint mechanics and dimensions. 

This guide is intended to provide information regarding total hip replacement, less invasive surgery, surgical approaches, bearing alternatives, risks and benefits of the procedure, outpatient joint replacement, and state-of-the-art surgical techniques.