Total Hip Replacement

Who Needs a Total Hip Replacement?

For those suffering from osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease in the hip, and who have tried nonsurgical treatments to no avail, a total hip replacement could be the answer. Signs you may need a total hip replacement include:

  • hip/groin pain that keeps you awake at night
  • hip pain while at rest
  • hip pain that limits your ability to perform everyday activities like getting up from a chair, climbing stairs,
    and walking
  • pain even after several months of
    nonoperative treatments


If you think you may be a candidate, see an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation. Adults of any age may be considered for a total hip replacement, but most total hip replacements are performed on people between the ages of 60 and 80.

What Can You Expect from the Procedure?

Total hip replacement is carried out under general anesthesia (when you are completely asleep) or spinal or epidural anesthesia (when you are numbed from the waist down). During the procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision on the front side of your hip to remove diseased and damaged bone and cartilage. Your surgeon will then replace these with a new prosthetic joint (ball and socket). In most cases, the surgery takes between one and two hours.

How Do You Recover?

Most total hip replacement patients stay in the hospital from two to four days. During this time, you will be given activities to perform to prevent blood clots from forming in your veins. A physical therapist will also prescribe strengthening and mobility exercises to help your joint heal properly and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

Before you are discharged, you must be able to get up out of the hospital bed and walk using a walker. Six to eight weeks after the procedure, most patients can walk without assistance and see significant improvement in their pain levels.

How Long Does a Total Hip Replacement Last?

If you have a total hip replacement today, you have a 90-95% chance that your joint will last 10 years, and an 80-85% chance that it will last 20 years. With advancements in technology, these numbers may improve.

An Expert Weighs In

“Total hip replacement, also known as hip arthroplasty, is an excellent option when your quality of life is being affected by pain surrounding the hip. If you have painful arthritis and are considering surgery, you need to ask yourself two questions: 1) how bad is my pain/functional limitation and 2) how long am I willing to put up with it. When you have more bad days than good days, it is reasonable to consider a joint replacement surgery.”

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