The first hip replacement was performed more than 40 years ago and it has become one of the most successful operations in modern medical history according to the NHS.

The hip forms one of the body's largest joints and operates like a ball in a socket. The bones are connected by bands of lubricated tissue called ligaments and cushioned by a different type of tissue, called cartilage.

You may need a replacement if these tissues get worn over time (osteoarthritis), or you have rheumatoid arthritis and it severely damages your hip joint or you fracture the bones in the joint.

Why you might need it

Damage to joints usually gets worse over time so, although you may be fit and active, the likelihood that you’ll need surgery increases with age. Women in particular are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, which makes their bones more brittle and increases the risk of fractures. For the vast majority of people the operation leads to:

  • pain reduction
  • greater mobility
  • the ability to do things they could not previously manage, like go for long walks or ride a bike
  • an improved quality of life overall.

When arranging an appointment we can make sure you to see one of our experienced orthopaedic consultants within a few days of your enquiry.

If you decide to have your procedure with us, you will be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.

Anyone in need of a total hip replacement is a potential candidate for the Mako robot-assisted procedure. Read more about the benefits of robot-assisted surgery.

Who will do it?

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. A number of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field. 

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the surgeon you want to work with, when you want, and where you want from across our network of hospitals and many clinics across the UK. They’ll be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering on-going support after your surgery.

All of our surgeons are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals. If you don't have someone in mind, we can help you choose the best consultant for you.

In addition to traditional hip replacement surgery, seven consultants are fully trained in performing this procedure with the robot-assisted system. This is the first time the technology is available in Scotland. The team are proud to bring the technology to self-pay and insured patients in Scotland and further afield.

If you’d like a consultation, call us on 0131 316 2507. If you’re insured, call and advise your insurance company that you’ll be having a robot-assisted procedure, as you’ll need an authorisation code to book your appointment.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

Robot-assisted total hip replacement surgery

Your consultant may advise that robot-assisted surgery is a good option for treating your hip condition. Before surgery, you would have a 3D CT scan of the hip which is loaded onto the Mako system allowing the robot to build a complete picture of the hip joint. A pre-operative plan is then devised, allowing the surgeon to select a suitable implant in advance.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

It’s a good idea to stay as active as possible, doing gentle exercise like walking and swimming, in the run up to your operation. You may also be given some strength building exercises to do.

Around ten days before your operation you will be asked to attend a pre-admission clinic for a blood pressure check and routine blood and urine tests. A nurse or physiotherapist will talk to you about your needs at home, so that any necessary arrangements can be planned before you go into hospital.

The procedure

We understand that having surgery can be a time of worry and anxiety. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.

During the operation your surgeon will remove the top part of your thigh bone and replace it with a ball on a stem, which is inserted into the existing bone. The stem is often made of titanium, while a plastic, ceramic or metal cup is often used to replace the socket part of the joint.

The procedure can be done either under a general anaesthetic or an epidural, which numbs your lower body. It usually takes one to two hours to complete. Your consultant will discuss all the options with you beforehand.

How robot-assisted surgery differs from traditional hip replacement surgery

Using the information retrieved from the CT scan you will have before surgery and using special trackers, the robot can alter the position of the implant during surgery, which cannot be done using traditional methods. The cuts made by the robot to remove the damaged section of the hip are much more accurate than those made manually. The robotic arm guides and aids the surgeon with pinpoint accuracy, detecting healthy and diseased tissue, guiding the implant into the perfect position and enabling tailor-made operations for patients.


After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.

While you are in hospital a physiotherapist will help you every day with exercises that will help speed up your recovery.

Pain relief

Your hip joint will be sore after the operation, you may also have some temporary pain and swelling in your knee and a swollen ankle. We will give you pain relief medication while you’re with us and to take home with you. 

We will provide you with a 14 day supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.

Recovery time

Your consultant will advise you on how to make your recovery as quick as possible but when you get home you’ll need to take things easy at first.

You will probably need crutches for four to six weeks after you leave hospital and you will have regular appointments with one of our experienced physiotherapists, who will help you regain a wide range of movement. You will be given exercises to do regularly and you should stick to this regime if you want to gain the full benefit of your new hip.

Your consultant will advise when you can return to work. It will probably be two to three months before you are able to resume normal activities. You may also find that your bowel movements take a while to return to normal.

For most people, the benefits of a hip replacement far exceed any negatives. Your pain should be reduced, if not gone, and your mobility greatly improved, however you may not be able to play high-impact sports – like football or rugby – after having this operation. Your surgeon will discuss your expectations and the results that are likely to be possible for you.

How your loved ones can help

Once you’re ready to be discharged, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home because you won’t be able to drive. You should also ask them to help with shopping and cleaning for a few weeks. 

Looking after you

We’re with you every step of the way through your recovery, even after you’ve left hospital.

After a hip replacement we will provide you with all the appropriate medication, physiotherapy exercises, advice on what you should and shouldn't do, and any other follow-up support you need. Typically your consultant will want to see you after your treatment to see how you’re doing, a follow up appointment will be made before you leave the hospital. You might also be seen by a physiotherapist after you have left hospital.

On rare occasions, complications following surgery can occur.

The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.

If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.

The aftercare for a robot-assisted hip replacement is similar to traditional hip replacement. Spire Murrayfield's physiotherapy team will spend time developing and demonstrating a bespoke recovery plan for your individual needs and your consultant will stay in regular contact until you are fully recovered.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

The key benefits of robot-assisted surgery for this type of procedure are:

  • You could return to normal activities much sooner
  • The accuracy of the Mako robotic arm improves alignment of the implant and allows for adjustments mid-operation, customising the procedure for each individual
  • It allows the surgeon to preserve healthy bone and tissue by removing only the diseased parts
  • You could spend less time in hospital, suffer less post-operative pain and experience fewer complications. In some cases you could even return home within a day
  • The Mako system improves durability of the implant and will reduce the risk of requiring further surgery

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

You can trust Spire Edinburgh Hospitals Murrayfield and Shawfair Park to provide you with a single, fixed price (1) so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner (2) you can even be considered for interest free finance.

We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

(1) Important: Please read Spire’s terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price* when paying for yourself.

(2) Zebra Finance Ltd trading as Zebra Health Finance , Lincoln House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6LY. 

Make an enquiry


You can have this treatment at:

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.

What our patients say