What are the total hip components made of?

Most artificial sockets (“acetabular components”) are made of a titanium shell, which has a roughened outer surface that contacts the bone of the patients own hip socket. Titanium screws can be placed through the shell to help secure the socket in place during the first 6 weeks when bone grows into the pores on the roughened surface of the implant. This is called “porous ingrowth” or “cementless” technology. Inside the metal shell is attached a “liner” (or “insert”) made of high-density polyethylene, or in some cases, a hard, smooth metal (cobalt-chromium) or ceramic (alumina) material.

The artificial ball is made either of a hard cobalt-chromium alloy or a ceramic material. The ball is attached to a metal stem (“femoral component”) often made of titanium that also has a roughened surface. The stem is inserted down inside the patient’s femur bone, and over the following 6 weeks, the bone attaches to the stem to hold it in place permanently.

Some surgeons use a special bone cement called ” methacrylate” to attach the femoral stem (and sometimes the socket) to the patient’s bone.

Alternative Bearing Surfaces

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