Hip replacement surgery

We offer advanced surgical techniques and expert aftercare to replace painful damaged hip joints and help you get back to everyday activities.

Sometimes also called

  • Hip arthroplasty

At a glance

  • Typical hospital stay
    3–5 days

  • Procedure duration
    60–90 minutes

  • Type of anaesthetic
    General, spinal or epidural

  • Available to self-pay?

  • Covered by health insurance?

Why Spire?

  • Fast access to treatment when you need it
  • Internationally and nationally renowned consultants
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost
  • 98% of our patients are likely to recommend us to their family and friends

What is a hip replacement?

A hip replacement is a common operation to remove worn or damaged parts of your hip joint and replace them with an artificial joint, to help you move more easily and to reduce pain. Conditions like osteoarthritis or a hip fracture can make it hard to manage everyday tasks such as getting dressed, having a bath or walking. Chronic pain can also prevent you from sleeping well and enjoying life.

Most people who have hip replacement surgery are between 60 and 80. Hip replacement may also benefit you at any age if you have a condition such as:

Hip replacement can ease pain and allow you to become more active again. Your doctor will usually recommend it only after you’ve tried other treatments that haven't worked for you.

These treatments include:

You’ll need an X-ray so your doctor can assess your hip. You can use our fast diagnostic services so you won’t have to wait long to find out if hip replacement surgery is right for you. Your consultant will discuss what would be best for you and your lifestyle.

Find your nearest hospital

Almost all our hospitals offer hip replacement surgery and have teams of orthopaedic (bone and muscle) surgeons who specialise in this procedure.

Spire Nottingham Hospital

How a hip replacement works

In a healthy hip joint

Your hips are ball-and-socket joints, where the head of your thigh bone meets a hollow in your pelvis. The surface of these bones is coated with smooth, slippery cartilage, which protects and cushions your bones, allowing them to move easily next to each other.

In an unhealthy hip joint

When the cartilage is worn or damaged, it makes your bones rub together. This can cause your hip to become stiff and can be very painful.

Total hip replacement

Your surgeon will remove both the socket and the top of your thigh bone and replace them with a new joint made from metal, plastic or ceramic components.

Full hip replacement surgery

Watch how a hip replacement surgery takes place

Your operation: what to expect

How long does a hip replacement take?

Usually between one hour and 90 minutes.

Anaesthetic choices

Hip replacement surgery is usually done under general anaesthetic, where you’ll be unconscious during the operation. However, some patients may have an epidural anaesthetic, where you're awake but won’t be able to feel anything from the waist down. If you have this option, you can have a sedative to help you feel more relaxed. Your consultant will discuss with you what’s best in your case.

Pain after hip replacement surgery

As with most operations, you’re likely to feel some discomfort afterwards, which may last a few days or weeks. You’ll be given painkillers and we can help you manage any pain as you recover. The good news is the chronic pain you felt before your hip replacement should go away, so you should be yourself again in a few months.

Your hospital stay

The average hospital stay is three to five days.

Q & A

Alun Wall, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Talking about hip replacement

Your recovery: what to expect

How quickly you recover from your surgery depends on how fit you were before, and on the type of operation you have.

Physiotherapy and ongoing treatment

While you're in hospital, a physiotherapist will take you through a series of exercises to strengthen your muscles and to help your new hip work at its best. At home, it’s important to do these exercises after hip replacement surgery to speed your recovery so you can start to enjoy everyday life again.

Your lifestyle after treatment

You should expect to be pain-free and to move more easily, without any stiffness in your hip. Your consultant will discuss how to enjoy your usual activities safely. You may be advised to avoid some activities, eg extreme sports, that risk over-extending or dislocating your new hip.

How long does a hip replacement last?

A modern artificial hip joint replacement should last for 15 years or more.

Risks and complications

The risk of serious complications is low, and most people have hip replacement surgery without complications, but all surgery carries risks. Your consultant will talk you through any potential risks before you go ahead. They can include:

  • Dislocation
  • Fracture
  • Infection
  • Injuries to blood vessels or nerves
  • One leg longer than the other

At Spire hospitals, your safety is our top priority. We have high standards of quality control, equipment and cleanliness and an ongoing system of review and training for our medical teams.

Treatment and recovery timeline

Everyone's different, but here’s a rough guide to recovery from a total hip replacement:

View full timeline

1-2 days

Walk with support and help from a physiotherapist

3-5 days

You’ll be able to leave hospital

1-2 weeks

Walking more each day using a walking aid

2-6 weeks

Gradually able to do more exercises such as gentle swimming and static cycling

6-8 weeks

Return to work if desk based, no longer require walking aid, be able to drive if advised by your surgeon, and be able to have sex, but avoid positions of potential dislocation

12 weeks

Return to work for manual labour jobs, you should feel normal again and be able to perform your usual activities

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.

Get in touch


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