Hip replacement

If you have tried taking regular painkillers, maybe undertaken a gentle exercise programme or had some physiotherapy and you are still struggling with pain and stiffness in the hip, or your quality of life has started to deteriorate, the time has come to put things off no longer and to consider a hip replacement.

​As the name suggest hip replacement involves replacing the damaged ends of the hip bone (the 'socket') and the femur (the 'ball'). At least 100,000 hip replacements or arthroplasties are performed in Britain each year - in fact hip replacement is one of the most successful operations we perform in modern medicine. The operation is particularly effective for reducing pain and improving mobility. So if you are suffering from arthritic pain and treatment with painkillers is no longer effective, hip replacement surgery could be a solution for you. Depending upon your age, activity and other factors hip re-surfacing may be another option  - Click here to learn more.

What is the next step?

​ The first step is to book an appointment where I will see you in my clinic. We will discuss your symptoms and any other medical problems you might have. I will also examine you before arranging an X-ray of your hip. This will allow me to make a formal diagnosis of what is causing the problem and to recommend the best treatment for you.

Choosing your surgeon

I can’t stress enough the importance of speaking to a specialist consultant if you ever need medical advice - including hip surgery. Although hip replacement is a relatively common operation as with all medical interventions it is important to choose someone with appropriate training, expertise and experience.

What is involved in hip replacement?

The operation involves removing the head of the thigh bone (femur) and passing a metal 'stem' made of titanium or stainless steel into the femur. The replacement 'ball' of the hip joint (which is made of either ceramic or metal) then sits on top of this.

The 'socket' part of the joint is now cleaned up and replaced with a new metal socket; a liner made of polyethylene sits inside this and then the joint can be put back together again.

Click here to learn about hip resurfacing.

What happens when I come into hospital for surgery?

Hip replacement surgery is involves a short stay in hospital. You will be seen and assessed by the anaesthetist who will go through any medical problems you may have and decide upon the best way to keep you comfortable and completely pain free during your operation. He may recommend a general anaesthetic (in other words you are completely asleep during the operation) or may recommend a spinal or epidural anaesthetic (which involves a tiny tube in the back like pregnant women often have during childbirth) and some medicine to make you drowsy. But whatever he recommends be assured he will discuss the options with you and that you will be comfortable, relaxed and pain free during the operation.

I will of course see you myself once again before your operation and answer any questions which you or your family might have. The operation generally takes about an hour.

After your operation I will call your relatives if you wish to let them know everything went fine and to advise them when you will be awake enough to see them.

After the operation you will wake up in the recovery area of the theatre suite with a nurse looking after you and you will be completely pain free. You will be offered something to eat and drink before heading to the wards.

Rehabilitation after surgery

Over the next few days you will be given table painkillers and encouraged to get up and about with the help of the occupational therapists and physiotherapists. When the occupational therapists feel you are able to look after yourself and the nurses and physiotherapists feel you are safe you will be able to go home.

I will see you in my clinic to see how you are getting on and the physiotherapists will continue to work with you to get you more mobile and stronger with each day.

After hip replacement surgery

We take the aftercare of our patients very seriously. From the physiotherapy we provide immediately after hip replacement surgery, to the X-ray we take one year after your operation – we want to ensure you’re making the most of your new hip.

After hip replacement surgery: Days 1-5

Immediately after your surgery you will be moved to the recovery ward and shortly afterwards, back to your room. The next day, our physiotherapist will come to see you and get you out of bed. It’s extremely important to start moving your new hip as soon as possible. For the next few days, our physiotherapist will get you walking and moving around safely on your new hip. Hydrotherapy is also an option for most patients.

Going home

You will be ready to go home after around 4 days in hospital. Physiotherapy continues for about a month and you will have another appointment with the clinic in six weeks. All being well, after this appointment you will be allowed to drive.

One-year anniversary

Your next follow up appointment is one year after your operation. During this appointment we will take an X-ray and check that everything is healing properly.

On-going consultations

We will continue to see you every few years to ensure that your hip continues to function as it should.


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