How to speed up a hip replacement and have surgery sooner

If you’re living with debilitating hip pain and seeking ways to speed up your hip replacement surgery, you’ve come to the right place.

In this blog, we explore various strategies that aim to help you speed up the process, enabling you to have your hip surgery sooner and get back to a pain-free life.

A group of men and women practising yoga and stretches on yoga mats outside

How long do you have to wait for a hip replacement on the NHS vs private?

Due to high demand, limited resources, and patient backlogs from the COVID pandemic, waiting times for hip replacement surgery vary across different regions and hospitals within the NHS. The severity of your condition and the impact on your daily life are factors considered when determining the urgency of your joint replacement procedure. NHS waiting times can range from a few months to over a year, depending on these circumstances.

Check the NHS Waiting List Tracker to see current waiting list times in your local area.

Opting for private healthcare can offer faster access to hip replacement surgery compared to the NHS. Private healthcare facilities often have shorter waiting times due to dedicated resources and the ability to schedule surgeries more efficiently. With private healthcare, you have the ability to choose your surgeon, location, and preferred timing for the procedure.

At Practice Plus Group, you can go from appointment to surgery in just four weeks depending on hospital location.

What makes a hip replacement urgent?

This is usually when the severity of your condition and its impact on your quality of life require prompt surgical intervention. Symptoms will likely include severe pain and disability to loss of function and structural damage. Speak to your care provider if you think your case is urgent.

How soon should hip surgery be done?

The timing of hip surgery is determined based on individual circumstances. These include:

  • the severity of the hip condition
  • the impact on your quality of life
  • the professional judgement of healthcare providers.

Your healthcare provider will consider all relevant factors, weigh the benefits and risks of hip surgery and develop a tailored treatment plan.

What happens if you wait too long for hip surgery?

If you delay hip replacement surgery for too long, it’s likely the damage to your joint will worsen. This could make the eventual surgery more difficult while increasing the risk of complications.

If your pain prevents you from being active in your everyday life, the stiffness in your joint may worsen over time, making movement difficult. That being said, it’s never too late for a hip replacement if it is deemed safe and beneficial by your consultant.

How can I have my hip replacement surgery faster?

While the timing of your total hip replacement surgery depends on a number of circumstances – both medical and personal – there are several proactive steps you can take to potentially speed up the process:

  • Open Communication: At Practice Plus Group, we prioritise effective communication with our patients. It is crucial to clearly express the severity of your hip pain, the impact it has on your daily tasks, and your desire to have the surgery sooner. By openly discussing your situation with your orthopaedic specialist, they can gain a comprehensive understanding of your needs. They can also explore possible options for fast-tracking your surgery
  • Early Intervention and Timely Referrals: Seeking early medical attention is essential for speeding up the hip replacement process. If you’re experiencing persistent hip pain, don’t delay in consulting with a healthcare professional. Timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help accelerate your journey towards surgery if deemed necessary. Additionally, ensuring timely referrals and consultations with orthopaedic specialists can help streamline the process
  • Improving your health: Thorough preoperative preparations play a vital role in speeding up hip replacement surgery. Your healthcare team will guide you through a series of assessments and evaluations to ensure you are in optimal health for the procedure. It is crucial to follow preoperative instructions diligently, which may include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in prescribed exercise routines. By improving your overall health, you can potentially minimise any delays caused by underlying medical conditions
  • Streamlined Processes: At Practice Plus Group, we believe in a collaborative approach to patient care. Our team of experienced professionals, orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists, and support staff work together to streamline the surgical process and maximise efficiency. From preoperative consultations to postoperative rehabilitation, we provide comprehensive care. We strive to ensure you receive the highest level of support throughout your hip replacement journey
  • Pay for yourself: Choosing private hip surgery can mean a significant reduction in waiting time if you pay for yourself between your initial consultation and treatment.

How can I get hip surgery faster on the NHS?

You may be able to have your NHS surgery sooner by switching hospitals to one with shorter waiting times.

The waiting period starts when the hospital of your choice receives your referral letter, or when the first appointment is booked via the NHS e-Referral Service. So, the sooner you choose where to be treated, the sooner your hip surgery will be booked.

Be sure to attend all appointments and follow pre-surgery guidelines to ensure your surgery isn’t delayed.

How can I reduce pain while waiting for a hip replacement?

If you are experiencing hip pain while waiting for a hip replacement, the following tips could help manage your discomfort and prepare for your hip replacement surgery:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers (such as acetaminophen (paracetamol)), can help alleviate mild-to-moderate hip pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, may also be effective in reducing inflammation and pain. However, it’s essential to follow the recommended dosage. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you
  • Heat and cold therapy: Applying heat or cold to the affected area can provide temporary relief from hip pain. You can use a heating pad or take a warm bath to relax the muscles and encourage blood flow. Alternatively, applying an ice pack wrapped in a thin cloth for short periods can help reduce inflammation and numb the area
  • Assistive devices: Crutches or walking aids can help reduce weight-bearing on the hip joint, thereby decreasing pain and improving mobility
  • Physiotherapy: Specific exercises and stretches after hip replacement surgery that are recommended by a physiotherapist can help strengthen the surrounding muscles, improve joint flexibility, and alleviate hip pain while performing everyday physical activities
  • Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight is important to reduce the load on the hip joint. Excess weight can increase stress and pain in the hip area. Adopting a balanced diet and incorporating light activities or low-impact exercises can help manage weight and reduce strain on the hip joint
  • Pain management techniques: Exploring pain management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, relaxation exercises or guided imagery can assist in coping with hip pain and reducing discomfort. These techniques can help promote relaxation, distract from the pain and improve overall well-being.

Starting these activities now could even help accelerate your hip replacement recovery in the weeks after surgery!

Get hip surgery faster with private healthcare

At Practice Plus Group, we know each patient’s journey is unique and dependent on a variety of circumstances. We strongly recommend consulting with our experienced orthopaedic surgeons and specialists. They can assess your specific needs and explore the most suitable treatment path.

Ready to get private surgery in just four weeks?