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.
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:
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.
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 38 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.
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 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.
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