Frequently Asked Questions
Patient Stories
Make An Appointment
Contact Us
Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics


The hip is a ball and socket joint. The ball portion of the joint is called the femoral head, and is part of the upper leg bone (femur). The socket portion is called the acetabulum, and is part of the pelvic bone. The femoral head (ball) fits into the acetabulum (socket) and moves within its natural fluid, called synovial fluid, which helps to lubricate the joint during motion.

In a healthy hip joint, the surface of the bones where the ball and socket rub together are very smooth and covered with a tough protective tissue called cartilage.

Arthritis causes damage to the bone surfaces and cartilage. These damaged surfaces eventually become painful as they wear. There are many ways to treat the pain caused by arthritis. One way is total hip replacement surgery. The decision to have total hip replacement surgery should be made very carefully after consulting your doctor and educating yourself about the hip joint, arthritis, and the surgery.

In total hip replacement surgery, the arthritic ball and socket are removed and replaced with artificial implants made of metal and a durable plastic material.

A hip resurfacing procedure is an alternative to total hip replacement. Resurfacing a hip is similar to a total hip replacement but instead of cutting off the arthritic top of the thighbone (femoral head), the head is reshaped and resurfaced with a metal mushroom-like cap.

Trinity Clinic Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Volatile, discussed hip replacement.

1327 Troup Highway • Tyler, Texas  75701 • (903) 510-8840