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Osteoarthritis is the most common disease of the hip. It is caused by wear and tear on the joint. Cartilage is the firm, rubbery tissue that cushions your bones and joints. It allows bones to glide over one another. Cartilage can break down and wear away. As a result, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
The most common reason to have a hip joint replaced is relieve severe arthritis pain that limits what you can do. Hip joint replacement is usually done in people age 60 and older. This is because most artificial hips do not last more than 20 years. Also, younger people who have this surgery tend to place more strain on their new hip.
Update Date 5/15/2014
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.