Hip replacement surgery is a procedure in which a doctor surgically removes a painful hip /joint with arthritis and replaces it with an artificial joint often made from metal and plastic components. It usually is done when all other treatment options have failed to provide adequate pain relief. The procedure should relieve a painful hip joint, making walking easier.

Hip replacement surgery can be performed traditionally or by using what is considered a minimally-invasive technique. The main difference between the two procedures is the size of the incision.

During standard hip replacement surgery, you are given general anesthesia to relax your muscles and put you into a temporary deep sleep. This will prevent you from feeling any pain during the surgery or have any awareness of the procedure. A spinal anesthetic may be given to help prevent pain as an alternative.

While most hip replacement surgeries today are performed using the standard technique (one 8 to 10 inch cut along the side of the hip), in recent years, some doctors have been using a minimally-invasive technique. In the minimally-invasive approach, doctors make one to two cuts from 2 to 5 inches long. The same procedure is performed through these small cuts as with standard hip replacement surgery.

The small cuts are thought to lessen blood loss, ease pain following surgery, shorten hospital stays, reduce scar appearance, and speed healing

 

What Happens After Hip Replacement Surgery?

You will likely stay in the hospital for four to six days and may have to stay in bed with a wedge-shaped cushion between your legs to keep the new hip joint in place. A drainage tube will likely be placed in your bladder to help you go to the bathroom. Physical therapy usually begins the day after surgery and within days you can walk with a walker, crutches, or a cane. You will continue physical therapy for weeks to months following the surgery

How Long Will My New Joint Last After Hip Replacement Surgery?

When hip replacement surgeries were first performed in the early 1970s, it was thought that the average artificial joint would last approximately 10 years. We now know that about 85% of the hip joint implants will last 20 years. Improvements in surgical technique and artificial joint materials should make these implants last even longer. If the joint does become damaged, surgery to repair it can be successful but is more complicated than the original procedure.