The artificial prosthesis components are made of different materials:
The surgeon will decide which materials to use depending on the patient's anatomy.
If the cartilage layer in the acetabulum is in good condition (for example after a femoral neck fracture), it does not need to be replaced. In such cases, only the femoral head and the femoral neck are replaced with an artificial femoral head on a prosthesis stem. Following the operation, the artificial femoral head sits in the natural acetabulum. This is referred to as a partial hip replacement or partial hip arthroplasty.
In the majority of cases, the complete diseased hip joint is replaced. An artificial acetabular cup replaces the damaged acetabulum. The deformed femoral head together with the femoral neck are exchanged for an artificial femoral head which sits on the prosthesis stem. This is referred to as a total hip replacement or total hip arthroplasty.
With this method, only the damaged joint surface is replaced and lined with a metal spherical cup. The prosthesis thus comprises an artificial acetabular cup and a cup for the natural femoral head. Both components are made of metal and fit perfectly into each other. This is referred to as a cup prosthesis. This complex technique has only been around for a few years and to date only limited findings are available as to the longevity and tolerance of this type of prosthesis.