A choice of surgical procedure becomes necessary to salvage the disabled hip joint when disease or mechanical derangement eventually creates intolerable pain. Either the surgeon must elect to eliminate all motion by means of fusion or choose one of the several methods of arthroplasty or osteotomy that will permit useful function without unbearable pain.
Recently, substitution of the femoral head by one of the many designs of hip joint prostheses has become popular. Arthroplasty by means of refashioning the acetabulum with some form of interposing material to permit motion has progressed from the use of such substances as fascia or pig's bladder to that of the molded metal cup. Usually, immediate postoperative results have been excellent, but through the test of time the many failures indicate the necessity of persistent efforts toward improvement.
Likewise, osteotomy or neurectomy have not satisfied the hope of success for everlasting good results.