How long does hip replacement surgery take?

Hip replacement surgery is a procedure for those that suffer from chronic hip pain, stiffness and mobility issues. It involves the replacement of the damaged or diseased parts of the hip joint with artificial implants. The surgery can provide life-changing benefits to people that have struggled with pain and discomfort that has affected their ability to complete everyday tasks.

Despite the benefits of this surgery, patients often want to know how long hip replacement surgery takes. We’ve put together a handy guide containing all the information you’ll need to know about the procedure and recovery timings.

Artificial hip joints used in surgery

How long is total hip replacement surgery?

The length of time for total hip replacement surgery varies depending on a number of factors. These include:

  • the patient’s overall health
  • the surgeon’s level of experience
  • the type of prosthesis used.

On average, the procedure takes between one and two hours to complete. Patients should expect to stay in hospital for no more than a few days after their surgery. Our Enhanced Recovery Pathway (ERP), has allowed us to successfully discharge some patients on the same day as their surgery. Eligibility for ERP depends on the type of surgery a patient has received, their recovery progress and success with their rehabilitation plan.

How long does hip arthroscopy take?

Hip arthroscopy (or keyhole hip surgery) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat various hip conditions. The procedure typically takes an hour and patients can usually expect to return home the same day as their surgery. Hip arthroscopy is not available with Practice Plus Group.

How long is hip revision surgery?

Hip revision surgery involves the removal of a previously implanted artificial joint. This is then replaced with a new one. It is usually performed when the old prosthesis has failed or is causing complications. The length of this procedure can vary depending on the extent of the revision needed.

Hip surgery recovery times

After hip surgery, patients can expect to stay in hospital for a few days. This is followed by a period of rehabilitation and recovery with a physical therapist.

Recovery times vary depending on:

  • the type of surgery performed
  • the patient’s overall health and age
  • the condition of the hip joint.

On average, patients can expect to take six weeks to three months before resuming everyday activities and getting back into sport and exercise. Full recovery can take upwards of a year.

Swimming, tennis, walking and golf after a hip replacement are all excellent options to explore to keep fit. Ask your consultant for more information.

Time off work after hip replacement surgery

The length of time off work after hip replacement surgery varies depending on the type of work the patient does, their age, overall health, and the type of surgery received. Generally, patients can expect to take six to 12 weeks off work before they’re able to return.

What is the best time of year to have a hip replacement?

The best time of year to have hip replacement surgery depends on the patient’s individual circumstances. Patients may want to consider the pros and cons of having their surgery at a specific time of year. Surgery during the summer months will likely make recovery easier with longer days and the decreased likelihood of catching a cold or flu. On the other hand, waiting lists will likely be shorter in the winter and patients won’t have to contend with the discomfort of hot weather.

What is the best age to have a hip replacement?

There is no specific age limit for hip replacement surgery. Generally, patients between the ages of 50 and 80 are good candidates.

The ideal age for hip replacement surgery depends on the patient’s individual circumstances. This includes their overall health and the condition of their hip. Trends indicate that hip replacements have a higher success rate in older, less active patients. This means, as long as patients are healthy, hip replacements are possible well past the 75 – 80 age bracket.

Older candidates will need to consider how their current discomfort is affecting their quality of life before deciding whether to have surgery.

Hip replacement waiting times

Waiting times for hip replacement surgery vary depending on the chosen healthcare provider and the patient’s individual circumstances. In some cases, NHS patients may have to wait several months to a year for surgery. If you are considering hip replacement through the NHS, take a look at My Planned Care on the NHS website to find out the current waiting times in your local area.

At Practice Plus Group, if you are paying for yourself, the average time from booking enquiry to having your surgery is 11 weeks. This tends to be significantly shorter than NHS waiting times. So, if you are looking for an urgent hip replacement, self-pay healthcare may be an option you want to consider.

Can you replace both hips at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to replace both hips at the same time – a procedure called bilateral hip replacement. However, this type of surgery carries a higher risk of complications and requires a longer recovery period. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of this option with your surgeon before deciding.

How long does a hip replacement last?

The lifespan of a hip replacement depends on various factors, including the patient’s activity level, weight, and overall health. On average, a hip replacement can last between 10 to 15 years, but may last longer.

What is the longest-lasting hip replacement?

The longest-lasting hip replacement depends on various factors. These include:

  • the patient’s activity level
  • the patient’s weight and overall health
  • the prosthesis used
  • the surgical technique used.

Studies have shown that ceramic-on-ceramic prostheses may last longer than other types of implants. However, this combination carries its own risks, primarily that of shattering.

Both cobalt-chromium and titanium are common metals used for hip replacements. This is because they are both strong and biocompatible.

The most commonly used material for hip implants is the metal-on-plastic combination.

Headshot of Nurul Ahad


This article was completed with the help of Mr Nurul Ahad, Medical Director and Orthopaedic Surgeon at Practice Plus Group. Mr Ahad graduated from Barts and the London School of Medicine before being appointed Trauma Consultant at Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals in 2010. His expertise has led to several publications and international presentations. With over 15 years of experience in orthopaedic surgery, he has a proven track record of delivering an excellent quality of service. Over the last few years Practice Plus Group has grown its Marketing Team to include art workers, campaign and social media managers, content editors, and digital analysts. Together, they provide a responsive and comprehensive service, ensuring all content is on-brand and in-line with relevant medical guidelines.
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