How is a Hip Replacement Performed?

How do surgeons replace a Hip?

Total hip replacement is a successful and cost-effective surgery. This procedure offers relief of pain and improvement in function in patients with hip arthritis. Currently, a hip replacement can last for up to 20 years. According to a recent clinical study, the prevalence of total hip replacement in the United States is 1%, with 2.5 million people having a hip replaced each year. Total hip replacement is an excellent treatment option for many people.


You may be able to choose which type of anesthesia given during surgery. The two options typically are:Hip pain

  • Epidural (spinal) anesthesia – Involves placement of a small catheter into the epidural space near the spinal cord that delivers medication to numb the lower body. This is often combined with administration of a sedative.
  • General anesthesia – This involves use of an intravenous medication to put the patient to sleep. The patient will have no pain or memory of the surgery.

The Procedure

Once you are moved to the operating area, you will be given anesthesia. The hip region will be shaved and cleaned with an antiseptic solution. Once you are asleep, the surgeon will make an incision on the top of the hip (anterior), on the side of the hip (lateral), or on the back of the hip (posterior). The surgeon then displaces, detaches, and/or manipulates the muscles and soft tissues to expose the joint.

One the hip joint is visualized, the upper aspect of the femur (thigh bone) is removed, and the natural socket (acetabulum) is hollowed out to fit the femoral head (top of femur bone). The socket is fitted into the hollow region of the pelvis, and a short, angled metal shaft with a smooth ball is fitted into the thigh bone. The ball will fit into the socket to move the thigh in a normal fashion. The cup and stem are usually fixed with a special cement.

Once all changes are made, the muscles and soft tissues are returned to usual position. This may require suturing and reattachment techniques. After the incision is closed using surgical staples or sutures (stitches), the area is covered with a sterile, dry bandage. The patient is usually placed in compression stockings that inflate to prevent blood clots.

Materials Used

Stryker-Hip-Revision-Surgery-Myositis-Ossification-ComplicationsProsthetic components may be cemented or uncemented. With the uncemeted method, the parts are made from a material with a rough surface. This allows bone to grow into the component to hold it in place (press-fit). The prosthetic parts may be held in place using acrylic cement.

Most prosthetic components are made using a high-density polythene (plastic) for the socket, titanium alloys for the femoral shaft (stem), and a ball made of chromium, cobalt, and/or molybdenum. Some surgeons use a metal ball and socket, because they do not wear as quickly as plastic components.

Choosing your Prosthesis

There are more than 60 different kinds of prostheses (implants). The options are usually only limited to around five, however. The surgeon will advise you won which type will best suit your health condition. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends implants known to have at least a 95% chance of lasting 10 years. The orthopedic surgeon will discuss your options with you.


After your total hip replacement, you will remain in the hospital for 2-6 days, depending on your health condition and progress. You will be discharged home or to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. It takes around 3-6 weeks to recover from a hip replacement, and incisions and tissues are still healing after a year. It is important to participate in physical therapy and a strenuous exercise program to regain full hip function.

OSPI offers top orthopedic surgeons who are hip and knee replacement specialists in Gilbert and Chandler AZ. Patients are seen from all over the Valley including Mesa, Queen Creek, Maricopa, Scottsdale and Phoenix. Most insurance is accepted, call us for an evaluation today!