Hip pain can prevent us doing the things we love and that keep us fit, as well as affecting our enjoyment of life. Hip resurfacing is a relatively straightforward procedure that offers an alternative to joint replacement. Your doctor will only remove the top parts of your thighbone and pelvis and insert metal replacements.

It takes around two hours and is usually performed under general anaesthetic on people who still have strong, healthy bones.

Why you might need it

This treatment might be a good alternative to hip replacement for you if your joint is painful but your bones are in good condition and you don't have osteoporosis.

It can be an option for younger people whose hip has been injured playing sport or for older people whose hips are deteriorating naturally with age but where the joint is salvageable. Your surgeon will replace the surface of the thighbone (or femur) and the pelvis with metal components.

The metal replacements typically last at least ten years and the procedure can serve as a stepping-stone to a full hip replacement.

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

Who will do it?

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 consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

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

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.

We will also be able to advise you on other treatment pathways you may consider – such as physiotherapy or pain management – or whether you can be booked straight in for a procedure.

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.

The procedure

We understand that having any operation, even a relatively common one like this, can cause anxiety. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.

You will almost certainly have a general anaesthetic so you’ll be asleep during the operation. In a few cases a spinal or epidural anaesthetic is more appropriate but your consultant will discuss this with you before the procedure.

Your surgeon will start the operation by making a 15 to 30cm long cut along the hip and thigh. They’ll remove the top of the two bones and insert the metal replacement parts.

The cut will be closed using stitches or clips and you’ll be taken back to your private room to recover in comfort. The procedure usually takes around two hours.


After the procedure, you will be taken from the operating theatre to a recovery room, where you will come round from the anaesthesia under close supervision.

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.

You’ll need to stay in hospital until you are walking comfortably on crutches or sticks – probably around three to five days

Pain relief

You are likely to feel pain around the hip for several weeks. Your knee might also feel a bit sore and swollen and your ankle may swell a bit. While you’re in hospital we’ll give you pain relief, and over the counter medicines such as paracetamol will probably be enough when you get home. This could last about two to three months. 

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

Recovery time

A physiotherapist will visit you while you’re in hospital to teach you exercises you’ll need to do after leaving us. They’ll encourage you to move your new hip soon after your operation.

Your bowels will be affected by the process and they should settle down after a few days and it might be difficult passing urine for a day or two. This might mean you need a catheter.

You’ll probably be able to return to work after six to eight weeks – although it will be longer if your job involves a lot of standing or lifting.

You’ll need to talk your doctor about when it is safe to drive again, as this will depend on the extent of your surgery and the type of car you have.

Although you’ll be on crutches you should be able to get up and down stairs soon after you get home.

We will probably advise you to wear compression stockings for a few weeks.

We’ll book an appointment to remove your stitches after about two weeks and your consultant will want to check on progress, a follow up appointment will be made for you before you leave the hospital.

How your loved ones can help

You’ll need a friend or relative to get you home from the hospital. If you live alone you’ll also need some help with household chores and shopping for a few weeks.

Looking after you

Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. When you leave we’ll provide you with all the appropriate medication, physiotherapy exercises and information 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 for you before you leave the hospital.

On rare occasions, there can be complications following hip surgery. The chance of complications depends on the exact procedure 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.

How much does it cost?

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.

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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.

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