The hip is the largest weight-bearing joint in your body. It is a ball and socket joint where your thighbone connects with the pelvis.

Hip bones are covered by a layer of cartilage. Ligaments and muscles join them together. Over time, the cartilage can start to wear away, causing the bones to rub together and create pain. There are several types of arthritis; however osteoarthritis is the number one reason for joint replacement surgery. If all other treatments, medications and physical therapy have failed, a hip replacement may be the best option.

In a hip replacement, the diseased hip ball is removed and replaced with an artificial ball that goes down into the hollow part of the thighbone. The stem is then either pressed or cemented into place. A metallic shell and cup-shaped liner are placed in the hip socket and then the ball and socket are placed together.

Hip Replacement, Paul Enker, MD, Long Island Arthritis & Joint Replacement, PCThe two most common surgical approaches are posterior and anterolateral. The posterior approach has been the gold standard for more than 40 years and cuts through the buttock muscles to reach the hip joint.1  Meanwhile the direct anterior approach is a minimally-invasive technique that goes through the front of the hip joint, sparing the major muscles. Learn more about the anterior approach by clicking here.

Surgery time is patient dependent and averaging 60 - 90 minutes. Learn more about surgical preparation and recovery time by reading this brochure.


1 - Robinson, R., Robinson, H., Salvati, E. A. Comparison of the transtrochanteric and posterior surgical approaches for total hip replacement. Clin. Orthop. 147:143– 147, 1980.