In the US alone, relevant statistics show that there are around 150,000 patients who have had hip joint replacements. And a big chunk of this number are aged sixty and above. But hip joint problems are hardly restricted to older people. Regardless of your age or race, you can have problems with your hip bones which may require you to undergo a hip joint replacement.

In a typical hip joint replacement procedure, the ball of the upper thigh and the injured cartilage of the corresponding hipbone socket are taken away to be replaced with artificial implants. These replacements or implants are intended to provide the patient with a new set of fully-functioning hip joint, which will give the patient more freedom in movement.

The most important part of the hip joint replacement components are the articulating surfaces. These are the areas where movements of the joints are actually done; basically these surfaces involve the thighbone ball and the hipbone socket of the replacement parts.

A good hip joint replacement surgery should allow the patient to move smoothly and gracefully. And this is determined, to a large extent, by the material that is chosen to replace the articulating surfaces of the hipbone and thighbone. Today, there are three basic compositions or materials that are used as articulating surfaces to any hip joint replacement.

Plastic Replacement Parts

Plastic or polyethylene has been a favorite implant material for years. If used for the articulating surfaces of the hipbone and thighbone, plastic replacement parts weigh less and can be more flexible. Plastic parts can also cost less than other materials.

However, plastic hip joint replacement parts tend to wear easily and may result to a loosening of the ball from the socket. To make things more complicated, as plastic ball and socket rub against each other, plastic particles may become lodged on other bone tissues and may lead to infection. Nevertheless, new technologies applied in the manufacture of plastic parts have made them more durable enough to perform their functions for years.

Ceramic Replacement Parts

Another material used for articulating surfaces in hip joint replacement is ceramics. Ceramic replacement parts are hard and very durable unlike plastic implants. Actually made from aluminum oxide, which is among the hardest materials known to man, ceramic parts can provide the patient with a much longer time of service due to their ability to withstand wear and tear.

However, ceramic parts cannot be made into large thighbone balls; which means, a patient implanted with ceramic parts may have to be careful about extreme movements because the thighbone head may snap and be dislocated from the hip sockets.

Metallic Replacement Parts

All types of articulating surfaces for your hip joint replacement are meant to become depreciated through constant use and the passage of time, just like your real bones. However, when you talk about durability and flexibility, especially if you have a very demanding lifestyle, metallic replacement parts are your lucky break!

If you have broken your hip joints, and these are replaced with metallic balls and sockets, then you may have something more durable than your original bones. Studies have shown that metallic parts have lower rate of wearing and tearing.

Indeed today, the materials that are used as articulating surfaces for hip joint replacements have come a long way from elephant ivories. But come to think of it, durability is not always the best policy. In fact, having your original bones is still better than having artificial implants. So, take care of your hip bones and all the other bone structures in your body so that you will not need any hip joint replacement.

Nourish your bones with the right minerals and nutrients. Supplement your diet with products like Phosoplex for you to avoid arthritic bones. For more details about bone nutrients, visit

Author's Bio: 

Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine