Hip replacement surgery – treatment explained
What is hip replacement surgery like in the UK?
Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common orthopaedic procedures in the UK. The surgeon replaces a painful arthritic hip with an artificial joint.
What are the signs that I need a hip replacement?
Symptoms and signs of needing a hip replacement include:
- Persistent or recurring pain in and around the hip joint. Often described as groin or buttock pain. You may also experience referred pain in your hip and knee
- Activity related pain and stiffness limiting your mobility in walking, managing stairs and getting in and out of chairs
- Disturbance of sleep due to pain
- Increasing pain due to a previous injury such as hip fracture
When should I seek treatment for my hip?
A hip replacement operation is recommended for patients whose hips have become so painful through damage that the pain interferes with everyday living, such as walking, driving and getting dressed. Some common reasons why a hip might become damaged include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and following previous injury to and around the hip bone.
What happens during hip replacement surgery?
The operation can be carried out under general anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make an incision on the side of your hip, remove the damaged hip joint and replace it with an artificial joint.
How long does hip replacement surgery take?
The procedure usually takes between one and one-and-a-half hours.
How long will I be in hospital?
We practice the Enhanced Recovery Pathway (ERP), which is a modern, evidence-based approach that helps people recover more quickly after having major surgery. Our physiotherapists begin working closely with patients within hours of joint replacement surgery, getting them up on their feet and growing their confidence. The length of stay at our hospital can be significantly shorter as a result or ERP. Early mobilisation and a return home reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis and infections, as well as making patients feel more comfortable.
With this support you will be mobile enough to go home two to three days after your operation. You will be given exercises and instructions on how to use mobility aids such as crutches and sticks. For the first four to six weeks you will need crutches or sticks to get around and you will need to do your exercises to ensure your new hip joint gives you the best results.
Most people are back to normal within two to three months, but it can take up to a year before you fully benefit from your new hip. It is up to individuals to do the exercises to make sure that the hip gets strong and has a full range of motion.
What are the results of hip replacement surgery?
A new hip joint can relieve pain, improve function, increase mobility and contribute to a better quality of life.
What are the risks and complications of hip replacement surgery?
All surgical procedures have risks, but the chances of serious complications following hip replacements are very low – less than one per cent. Complications can include dislocation, infection, injury to the blood vessels or nerves, a fracture or a difference in leg length. General complications also include deep vein thrombosis for which steps during and after surgery are taken to decrease this risk.
How long will my new hip last?
A modern artificial hip is designed to last for at least 15 years on average. However, occasionally, the new joint can wear out or go wrong within that period. If this happens then further surgery is required, and this is called revision surgery. It is estimated that around one in 10 of those with an artificial hip will need a revision within 10 years of their surgery.
Are there alternatives to a hip replacement?
An injection in the hip may help improve symptoms for a period of time delaying the need for hip replacement surgery.
What happens at the pre-operative assessment for hip replacement?
A pre-operative assessment is our opportunity to ensure that the procedure for which you have been referred is right for you. We’ll explain your treatment to you and make sure that you are well enough to go ahead with it. It is also your opportunity to meet the team who will care for you and to ask any questions.
Self Pay hip replacement costs
Find out more about hip surgery costs and how you can access treatment through Practice Plus Group.