FAQs for Hip Replacement

22nd, April 2016

Those who require hip replacement surgery often have many questions before and after surgery. Below are a few frequently asked questions that may help.

1)      What is a hip replacement?

Hip replacement surgery is a procedure in which a doctor surgically removes a painful hip joint and replaces it with an artificial joint often made from metal and plastic components. Hip surgery is usually done when all other treatment options have failed to provide adequate pain relief. The procedure should increase mobility, improve the function of the hip joint and relieve pain.

2)      Am I suitable for hip replacement surgery?

Usually people with hip joint damage that causes pain and interferes with daily activities despite treatment, are suitable for hip replacement surgery. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of this type of damage. However, other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, injury, fracture and bone tumours also may lead to a breakdown of the hip joint and the need for hip replacement surgery.

In the past, hip replacement surgery was primarily for people over 60 years of age, however, in most recent years’ doctors have found that hip replacement surgery can be very successful in younger people. New technology has improved the artificial parts, allowing them to withstand more stress and strain and last longer.

3)      What does hip replacement surgery involve?

During a standard hip replacement the surgeon makes a 6 to 8 inch incision over the side of the hip through the muscles and removes any diseased bone tissue and cartilage from the hip joint, while leaving the healthy parts of the joint intact. The ball portion of the joint is removed and an artificial joint is attached to the thighbone using either cement or a special material that allows the remaining bone to attach to the new joint. A standard hip replacement usually lasts from 1 to 2 hours.

4)      How long does it take to recover from hip replacement surgery?

Recovery time is one of the most common questions posed to specialists. There are many factors that can contribute to your recovery time from this procedure, but typically patients can hope to return to normal activities within 1 to 6 months.

5)      What are the risks of hip replacement surgery?

Hip replacement is a big operation and all major surgery carries risks. Possible complications include:

  • blood clots
  • wound haematoma (bleeding)
  • dislocation
  • infection of the joint
  • one leg longer than the other
  • nerve damage
  • ongoing discomfort
  • loosening

It’s very important to seek medical advice straight away if, following surgery, you have pain or swelling in the leg, chest pain or sudden breathlessness.

6)      What types of exercises are most suitable after a hip replacement?

Exercise is recommended in moderation as it can reduce stiffness, increase flexibility and muscle strength. After having hip surgery, you should speak with your doctor or physical therapist about developing a suitable exercise programme. Most of these programmes begin with safe range of motion activities and muscle strength exercises. Recommended exercises include;

  • Walking
  • Stationary bicycling
  • Swimming

These exercises can increase muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness without injuring the new hip.

If you are suffering from continuous hip pain and the thought of long NHS queues scare you, get in touch with our team of experienced Orthopaedic Consultants.

At Kingsbridge Private Hospital, our Orthopaedic Consultants are the best in their field. We take care of your complete journey from consultation to investigations to surgery. Your safety and wellbeing is of utmost importance and our experienced team of surgeons and nurses ensure you are always in safe hands.


If you would like to book an appointment or require further information on the options available to you, do not hesitate to contact our team on 028 9066 7878 or alternatively send us an online enquiry

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