Total hip replacement is one of the most common surgeries performed by orthopedic surgeons and has some of the most consistently positive patient outcomes. Patients who encounter chronic pain and mobility issues due to hip joint damage associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or a fracture, previous injury or bone tumor may be candidates for hip replacement if they are otherwise in relatively good health. The procedure to replace a hip joint is called hip arthroplasty. It begins with the surgeon removing the head of the femur (the topmost leg bone) and replacing it with a metal stem that is secured with surgical cement or other means. Next, a synthetic ball joint is connected to the top of the metal stem and damaged cartilage in the socket is removed. The socket itself is also replaced with a metal implant and a spacer device is positioned in between the artificial ball and socket so they can glide against one another. The entire procedure can take several hours to perform, and patients usually stay in the hospital for several days afterward.