Hip Replacement

This surgery replaces the two major parts of the hip joint with man-made materials.

This surgery replaces the two major parts of the hip joint with man-made materials.

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball is the head of the femur, the large bone in the top of the leg. The socket is the lower part of the pelvic bone, where the head of the femur sits. A total hip replacement is when a surgeon replaces these two major parts of the hip joint with a man-made socket, ball, and stem. This involves:

  • Removing the head of the femur, inserting a metal stem into the end of the bone, and attaching a ball to the head of the stem
  • Cleaning out the old hip socket by removing any cartilage and damaged bone and inserting a hip socket and liner in its place

A total hip replacement may be recommended if you have severe arthritic pain that has not responded to treatment and stops you from doing your normal daily activities (walking, household tasks and bathing).

  • Total hip replacements are commonly performed in people over the age of 60.
  • If a hip is replaced in a younger person, there is increased concern that it will not last the patient's life.

Prior to the surgery, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before the surgery. These may include:

  • Medications you should not take before the surgery, such as blood thinners or aspirin
  • Regular medications you should continue to take on the day of your surgery
  • How many hours you should stop eating and drinking before surgery
  • How to prepare your home for your return after you are discharged
  • Instructions on getting around with a cane, walker or crutches.

If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your healing and recovery.

During surgery, you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.

  • General anesthesia is where you are put into a deep sleep and are unable to see, hear or feel anything. Other types of anesthesia may be used in certain circumstances.
  • You will probably need to stay in the hospital for several days to recover from the surgery.
  • Depending on your health and the nature of your specific condition, your hip replacement may be able to be done as an outpatient procedure.
  • Most patients are able to go home from the hospital after surgery.
  • After surgery your treatment will typically involve exercise and physical therapy.
  • Pain medication and help at home will be needed while you complete your recovery.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a total hip replacement?

  • What is my diagnosis and reason for the surgery? What non-surgical alternatives are available to me? How will the surgery affect my daily life?
  • What type of recovery should I expect and how long will it take?
  • Do I need to fast before the surgery and, if so, for how long? Is there any other special preparation for the surgery? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.) What kind of sedation will I have? What are the possible side effects?
  • Make a list of your questions/concerns/symptoms and medications (including over-the-counter). Verify which medications you should take before the surgery.
  • Ask about possible complications, how you will feel after the surgery, and how you will have to modify your activity. Don't forget to make arrangements for transportation to and from the facility and help at home.

After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication was given, and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also let your primary care physician know the details of your surgery and treatment plan.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Total Hip Replacement
Replacing Hip
Repair Hip
Hip Replacement

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