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What Does a Worn Out Hip Joint Look Like?

What Does a Worn Out Hip Joint Look Like?

Dr. Dan Albright, an Orthopedic Surgeon in Raleigh, NC, uses models to show what a degraded hip joint looks like. He discusses why pain is caused in the hip joint and why replacing the joint brings pain relief to patients.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Albright call 919-863-6808.

Summary of video:

The hip is a ball and socket joint. The pelvis has a boney socket and the ball (which is the rounded top of the femur bone) fits into the socket. Cartilage lines the boney socket and coats the ball. Normal (uninjured and youthful) cartilage is like glass or ice – very smooth. When the ball moves very easily in the socket because the smooth cartilage-covered surfaces rub against each other. Like ice on ice or glass on glass.

As we age, the cartilage develops crevices, fissures, cracks, chips and becomes rough. So where it should be like glass on glass it now feels like sandpaper on sandpaper. This can be seen on x-ray or MRI.

There are a lot of nerve endings in the hip area and the rough surfaces rubbing against each other causes a lot of pain. It really hurts. People will limp a lot. They cannot put their socks and shoes on. It’s tough to get into a car or out of a car.

So what can be done once the hip is painful enough that you can’t walk any more? The joint can be replaced with an artificial ball and socket. The artificial parts are made from very smooth materials that reproduce nature and it works.

The science is there and the research is there. Hip replacement surgery really works.


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