Total hip replacement surgery

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Is chronic hip pain, irritation or stiffness making it difficult to get around, do the things you enjoy or even get a good night's rest? You may be a candidate for total hip replacement surgery.

The degenerative effects of arthritis, along with severe hip injuries and deformities, are reasons for total hip replacement surgery, known as total hip arthroplasty. Regardless of the cause of your hip issues, orthopedic hip surgeons at HonorHealth are committed to eliminating your pain and getting you back to doing the things you enjoy.

Total hip replacement surgery is one of the most common orthopedic surgical procedures for patients 50-80 years old. At HonorHealth, orthopedic hip surgeons use advanced surgical robotic and image-guided technologies and the latest in prosthetic implant devices to replace damaged or diseased cartilage and bone in the hip joint. Prosthetic implants are made of long-lasting, medical-grade, metal, ceramic or plastic materials.

During surgery, your specialist will:

  • Remove the damaged or diseased femoral head, the ball-like top of the thighbone, and replace it with a metal or ceramic implant. 
  • Remove the damaged cartilage and bone lining the hip socket (acetabulum) and insert a metal socket.
  • Insert a plastic, ceramic or metal spacer between the ball and socket implants so they can glide smoothly.
HonorHealth total hip replacement surgery

Specialists use two main approaches to total hip replacement surgery. Depending on your condition, your surgeon's preference and other factors, you may have:

  • Anterior hip replacement surgery, also known as direct anterior approach total hip arthroplasty. The surgeon accesses the hip joint through a small incision in the front (anterior) of the hip. The surgeon works between the two major muscles at the front of the hip without having to detach them from the thighbone (femur) or pelvis.

    The anterior approach is considered a less invasive, tissue-sparing technique with improved mobility, faster recovery and a decreased risk of post-surgical joint dislocation. The anterior approach also results in less pain with fewer post-surgical restrictions. Patients generally either leave the same day or spend one night in the hospital after this procedure.
  • Posterior hip replacement surgery is a technique in which the surgeon accesses the hip joint through the back (posterior) of the hip, avoiding the primary leg muscles used for walking. This approach gives surgeons a clear view of the hip joint. Generally considered to be more invasive, posterior hip replacement surgery usually requires a longer recovery period initially but has similar outcomes long-term.

After hip surgery

Surgical advances mean shorter hospital stays after surgery. In most cases, you'll begin standing and walking with support the day of your surgery. You'll likely be able to go home within 24-48 hours. Before you're discharged from the hospital, your care team will ensure that you're able to:

  • Use the bathroom without assistance.
  • Walk with an assistive device on level surfaces.
  • Climb up and down two or three steps.
  • Perform exercises that your doctor wants you to do at home.

Your recovery plan probably also will include comprehensive outpatient physical therapy at an HonorHealth facility. Therapy will help you regain strength, improve movement and function, and get you back to doing the activities you love.