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Hip Pain

If you’re suffering from osteoarthritis or another disease of the hip joint, then you may be considering a total joint replacement. At the Center for Orthopaedic Innovation at St. Luke’s Medical Center, surgeons live up to our name, offering total hip replacement procedures that truly are… innovative.

Take the SuperPATH total hip replacement procedure, as an example. In this micro invasive procedure, the surgeon creates a small incision (2-3 inches) through which the implant is inserted and built. The hip is never twisted into an unnatural position, the surrounding muscle is not cut, and most patients are able to walk the same day. Learn more.

What are the benefits of a hip replacement?

A total hip replacement can offer innumerable benefits, depending on your lifestyle and level of discomfort. In most cases, total hip replacement surgery will:

  • Improve quality of life, allowing you to participate in the activities you enjoy
  • Significantly reduce (or eliminate entirely) chronic hip pain
  • Build leg strength
  • Make movement easier for many years or decades to follow

How do I prepare for hip replacement surgery?

Before you undergo total joint replacement surgery at St. Luke’s Medical Center, you will be encouraged to participate in the Motion Academy® Total Joint Replacement Class. During this class, health care providers will provide important information to help you understand arthritis and your treatment options, how to prevent common complications, diet and exercise that will help you be at your best both before and after surgery, and many more important tips.

You can start preparing yourself now by:

  • Strengthening arms. This will make walking aids easier to use after surgery.
  • Building hip-supporting muscles. This will speed your recovery by providing extra strength and flexibility in muscles that have become weak or shortened.
  • Preparing your home. Think about possible hazards in the home that can lead to a dangerous slip, trip or fall after your new hip. Identify ways you can make your homecoming easier, such as help with your pets, for example, or pre-prepared dinners.

What is the surgical procedure like?

There are several different types of total hip replacement procedures. Your orthopaedic surgeon will explain the procedure he/she is planning and go over the details of your procedure with you. No matter which approach is used, a total hip replacement generally goes as follows:

After the patient is put to sleep, an incision is made to give the surgeon access to the hip joint. (Many times, medication is given into the spine or directly into the nerves of the joint, to anesthetize the area and reduce the need for narcotics post-operatively.) The head of the femur (the thigh bone), as well as the thin neck it attaches to, is removed from the stocky body of the femur.  The cartilage lining of the acetabulum, the cup-like socket (located in the pelvis) that holds the head of the femur, is also prepared for an artificial lining.

A thin metal cup lined with a durable plastic liner is set into the acetabular cavity and secured in place with screws and/or cement.  A new femoral head, which is attached to a stem that inserts into the body of the femur (thigh bone) is placed and secured with bone cement.  The muscles, ligaments and capsule that surround the joint hold the two new components in place.

St. Luke’s Medical Center is proud to be the only hospital in Arizona that offers the revolutionary SuperPATHTM total hip replacement procedure, which is performed by one of only 10 qualified surgeons in the world. Learn more about this innovative procedure and its results.


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Phoenix, AZ 85006

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