What’s involved in an actual joint replacement? Dr. Khalid A. Syed of Toronto Western Hospital gives the step-by-step on a typical hip operation:
Replacing the hip joint means giving the patient a new ball-and-socket. “We cut the ball off the femur and then put the [new prosthetic] ball on a [metal] stem, which we pound into the bone.”
The surgeon then expands the socket side and puts in a titanium-coated cup, again pounding it into the bone.
“We put a piece of plastic liner that locks into the metal cup.” This plastic acts as the cartilage, so the ball and socket can glide. “And that’s your new joint: metal, plastic, metal, metal.”
PLASTIC LINER FEMORAL HEAD FEMORAL STEM