What does hip replacement surgery involve?

A variety of anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes between an hour and an hour and a half.

Your consultant surgeon will make a cut on the side of your hip and remove the damaged ball and socket. They will replace these with an artificial ball and socket made of metal, plastic, ceramic, or a combination of these materials.

Hip replacement surgery

An acrylic cement or special coating is used on the hip replacement to bond it directly to the bone.

What is the hip replacement surgery recovery time?

You should be able to go home after four to seven days and it’s likely that you’ll need to use crutches or walking sticks for a few weeks.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities following surgery as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Most people make a good recovery, have less pain and can move about better. An artificial hip never feels quite the same as a normal hip and it is important to look after it in the long term. A hip replacement can wear out with time.

Mr David Hollinghurst, Consultant Orthopaedic Knee and Hip Surgeon, discusses different aspects of knee and hip pain and treatments available for these conditions:

What will happen during my hip replacement?

When you meet with your consultant surgeon they’ll ensure that you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your procedure, they’ll discuss with you what’ll happen before, during and after the procedure and any pain you might have. Take this time with them to ensure your mind is put at rest. We know that having an operation of any type can be stressful so we’ve created a short downloadable guide that you might find useful to print off and use to write down any questions you may have. Do take this with you to your consultation.

What are the potential hip replacement complications?

1. General complications of any operation can include:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the surgical wound
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Blood clots
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Chest infection
  • Heart attack or stroke


2. Specific complications of this operation can include:

  • Split in the femur
  • Damage to nerves
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Infection in the hip
  • Bone forming in muscles around the hip replacement
  • Loosening
  • Dislocation
  • Leg length difference


What are the benefits of surgery?

If your surgery is successful, you should have less pain and be able to walk more easily.


Are there any alternatives to surgery?

  • Simple painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can help control the pain. Supplements to your diet may also help relieve your symptoms. You should check with your doctor before you take supplements.
  • Using a walking stick can make walking easier, as can a small shoe-raise.
  • Regular moderate exercise can help to reduce stiffness.
  • A steroid injection into the hip joint can sometimes reduce pain and stiffness.


Hip replacement surgery costs | Paying for your operation

Costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation.

Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.


What other kinds of hip operations, treatments and procedures do Elite Ortho Surgeons carry out?

  • Hip arthrocopy, this is where a consultant will use keyhole surgery to ascertain the problem…
  • Hip debriment surgery, this is where there may be an abnormality of the hip joint through excessive bone or abnormal tissue…
  • Hip injection treatment may use either local anaesthesia or a combination of local anaesthesia and steroid, enabling a potential diagnosis as well as therapeutic treatment…
  • Hip resurfacing is a bone-conserving alternative to total hip replacement for young and active patients…
  • A hip revision, or total hip replacement is an operation to take out your old hip replacement and put in a new one…
  • A total hip replacement with computer assisted navigation. Computer assisted navigation is a recent and most significant development in joint replacement and orthopaedic surgery of the 21st Century.

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