The hip is a “ball and socket” joint which is susceptible to wear and damage. This can be caused by various forms of arthritis (most commonly osteoarthritis), bone diseases, bone abnormalities, and injury. Hip replacement surgery is an operation to replace a damaged or worn hip joint with an artificial version. It is regarded as a long term solution for joint pain and immobility and is often the most effective treatment.
In the hip joint, the ball is formed by the top of the thigh bone (femur), whilst the socket is part of the pelvis. In the operation, your surgeon will remove the top part of the thigh bone, replacing it with a ball on a stem, which is inserted into the centre of the thigh bone. A plastic or metal cup will often be used to replace the socket.Some patients choose to receive a general anaesthetic before the operation, so that they are asleep for the duration of the procedure. A hip replacement can also sometimes be performed under regional anaesthetic. The operation usually lasts two hours.
After surgery, you will be required to stay in hospital for two to five nights. Your hip is likely to be sore for several weeks; however this should ease as the area heals. Hip replacement surgery is considered a generally safe surgical procedure, which, for most, has benefits that outweigh the risks. Your surgeon will explain any risks of a hip replacement and how they apply to you.