Hip replacement joint, United States, 1998
Made from titanium alloy, this prosthetic is used to replace worn out, damaged or diseased hip joints. Joint replacements and implants are made from materials such as titanium that are not recognised by the human body (so they will not be attacked by the immune system and rejected). With an ageing population, over 50,000 hip replacements are now carried out in the United Kingdom each year. This example was made by Sulzer Orthopedics Inc, who also donated the hip replacement to the Science Museum’s collections. It is shown here with other replacement joints (1999-828, 1999-829, 1999-832).
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Glossary: artificial hip joint
A replacement hip joint (the area where the thigh bone joins with the pelvis). The socket is replaced with a plastic or metal cup, while a metal ball (on a stem placed inside the bone) replaces the head of the femur. This process is also known as Hip Arthroplasty.
Glossary: elective surgery
Non-essential surgery performed by choice and often used to improve ‘quality of life’.