Orthopedic procedures like hip and knee replacements are becoming increasingly common. It is estimated that over 7 million Americans are living with a replaced hip or knee. The prevalence is higher in women and increases with age. Typically, these surgeries are elective and care can and should be taken ahead of time to research options, including facility and provider cost and quality.
The knee joint consists of three parts: the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), the upper end of the shin bone (tibia) and the knee cap (patella). In a knee replacement procedure, any or all three parts of the knee can be replaced. When the femur and the tibia are replaced, a portion of the bone is removed and metal components are inserted. If the patella is replaced, a plastic component is inserted.
The hip joint consists of two main parts: a ball (femoral head) located at the upper end of the thigh bone (femur) and a socket (acetabulum) located in the pelvis. In a total hip replacement procedure, the ball is removed and replaced with a ball component and a cup/liner is inserted into the socket.
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