Hip joint replacement is surgery to replace all or part of the hip joint with a man-made joint. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis.
Your hip joint is made up of two major parts. One or both parts may be replaced during surgery:
The new hip that replaces the old one is made up of these parts:
You will not feel any pain during surgery. You will have one of two types of anesthesia:
After you receive anesthesia, your surgeon will make a surgical cut to open up your hip joint. Often this cut is over the buttocks. Then your surgeon will:
This surgery takes about 1 - 3 hours.
The most common reason to have this surgery is to relieve severe arthritis pain that is limiting your activities.
Most of the time, hip joint replacement is usually done in people age 60 and older, but many people who have this surgery are younger. Younger people who have a hip replaced may put extra stress on the artificial hip. That extra stress can cause it to wear out earlier than in older patients. Part or all of the joint may need to be replaced again if that happens.
Your doctor may recommend a hip replacement for these problems:
Other reasons for replacing the hip joint are:
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
You will stay in the hospital for 2 - 3 days. During that time you will recover from your anesthesia, and from the surgery itself. You will be asked to start moving and walking as soon as the first day after surgery.
Some people need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home. At a rehab center, you will learn how to safely do your daily activities on your own. Home health services are also available.
Hip replacement surgery results are often excellent. Most or all of your pain and stiffness should go away.
Some people may have problems with infection, loosening, or even dislocation of the new hip joint.
Over time the artificial hip joint will loosen. This can happen after as long as 15 - 20 years. You may need a second replacement.
Younger, more active people may wear out parts of their new hip. It may need to be replaced before the artificial hip loosens.
Hip arthroplasty; Total hip replacement; Hip hemiarthroplasty
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Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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