Hip replacement surgery is the second most common type of joint replacement surgery. Hip replacement surgery is a surgical treatment option for hip pain which is preferred when all other treatment options have failed to provide pain relief. In this surgery, the surgeon removes damaged hip joint or worn-out hip joint and replaces it with an artificial joint (Prosthesis).

Anatomy of Hip Joint


The hip joint is a ball and socket type of Joint, where the end of one bone is rounded (ball) and fits into a cupped end (socket) of another bone. In a hip joint, the femoral head acts like a ball joint and acetabulum acts the socket joint.

Causes of Hip Pain

Hip pain may be caused due to many reasons and some of the most common causes of hip pain are:

  • Avascular Necrosis: It is a condition where the bone tissues die due to lack of blood supply. This may result in tiny breaks in the bone. Due to these cracks, the bone may eventually collapse.

  • Injury to hip: Some times an injury to the hip may cause hip pain.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: In some cases, your own immune system attacks your own body’s tissues. As a result, the lining of the joint might get damaged which will cause swelling. This will eventually cause the bones to erode and lead to joint deformity.

Treatment Options for Hip Pain

When you consult a doctor for hip pain, the doctor will suggest treatment options based on the severity of hip pain. The treatment options for Hip pain are Medical Management and Hip replacement surgery.

When does one need to go in for a Hip Replacement Surgery?

Consult your orthopaedic surgeon for your hip pain. The surgeon will evaluate the severity of your hip pain and discuss with you whether surgery is the best method to relieve the pain. If the hip pain is low or moderate the surgeon may prefer medical management. If the hip pain is severe then the surgeon will prefer Hip Replacement Surgery.

How do you prepare for Hip Replacement Surgery?

Once you have taken the decision to undergo hip replacement surgery, the surgeon will ask you:

  • To stop smoking a week prior to surgery as smoking can prolong the recovery period.

  • To lose some weight, if you are overweight.

  • about the medications you are taking and may suggest you to stop taking some particular medicines.

  • To undergo a physical examination in order to see if you are fit for surgery.

Total Hip replacement procedure

You will be under anaesthesia throughout the procedure which can take a few hours. Once the anaesthesia is administered, the surgeon will make a cut along the side of the hip and expose the hip joint. The damaged cartilage and bone are removed. The artificial joint is attached to the bones with the help of special materials or cement. Then the surgeon removes the surface of the hip bone and attaches the replacement socket part to the hip bone. Once the implants are in places, the surgeon closes the incision. In some cases, the surgeon may place a drain tube to drain the fluid.

Post Surgical Care

After the surgery, you have to follow particular instruction given by the doctor for proper recovery. These post-surgical Instructions usually includes:

  • The patient has to take rest in bed for a few days.

  • While in bed, the leg has to be elevated

  • The Doctor may prescribe medicines to manage the pain.

  • The doctor will suggest physiotherapy for 3 weeks to 3 months.

  • Exercises to strengthen the hip joint in order to decreases the load on the hip.

Depending on your conditions the doctor may give other instructions, so kindly consult a doctor.

Possible Complications of Total Hip Replacement

Just like any surgery, Total Hip replacement surgery has its own risks. Some of the risks are:

  • Infection

  • Blood Clots

  • The leg length may vary

  • Dislocation

  • The implant might loosen


Some of the common questions asked about Hip Replacement Surgery are:

FAQ 1. What is the recovery time for a hip replacement surgery?

Ans. You will start recovering from the surgery in stages. Initially, you will need to take bed rest for few days. Then you have to undergo physiotherapy for 3 weeks to 3 months. After physiotherapy, you have to do exercises to strengthen muscles in order to decrease the load on your hip joints. With proper recovery, you can go back to your normal life.

FAQ 2. How painful is a hip replacement?

Ans. During the surgery, you will be under anaesthesia, so you won’t experience any pain. After the surgery, the surgeon will prescribe medicine to manage the pain.

FAQ 3. Is Hip replacement a major surgery?

Ans. Yes, Hip replacement is a major surgical procedure where the surgeon removes damaged hip joint or worn-out hip joint and replaces it with an artificial joint.

FAQ 4. How dangerous is hip replacement surgery?

Ans. Hip replacement surgery has few risks and complications, they are:

  • Infection

  • Blood Clots

  • The leg length may vary

  • Dislocation

  • The implant might loosen

FAQ 5. What should you expect after hip replacement surgery?

Ans. After the surgery, you will have to take rest in bed for a couple of days. Then you will have to go physiotherapy for 3 weeks to 3 months. Then you should do exercises that will strengthen your muscles around the hips. After proper recovery, you will be able to get back to your regular life.

FAQ 6. Can you walk and climb normally after a Hip Replacement surgery?

Ans. If you recover properly, then you will be able to walk and climb normally after the surgery.

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