Hip joint replacement


Hip joint replacement is surgery to replace all or part of the hip joint with a man-made (artificial) joint. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis.

Alternative Names

Hip arthroplasty; Total hip replacement; Hip hemiarthroplasty


Your hip joint is made up of two major parts. One or both parts may be replaced during surgery:

The new hip that replaces the old one is made up of these parts:

You will not feel any pain during surgery because you will have one of two types of anesthesia:

After you receive anesthesia, your surgeon will make a surgical cut to open up your hip joint. Often this cut is over the buttocks. Then your surgeon will:

This surgery usually takes 1 to 3 hours.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

The most common reason to have a hip joint replaced is to relieve severe arthritis pain that is limiting your activities.

Hip joint replacement is usually done in people age 60 and older, but many people who have this surgery are younger. Younger people who have a hip replaced may put extra stress on the artificial hip. That extra stress can cause it to wear out. Part or all of the joint may need to be replaced again if that happens.

Your doctor may recommend a hip replacement for these problems:

Other reasons for replacing the hip joint are:

See also: Deciding to have knee or hip replacement


Risks for any anesthesia are:

Risks for any surgery are:

For more detail about joint replacement, see also: Risks of hip and knee replacement

Before the Procedure

Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.

During the 2 weeks before your surgery:

Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or wheelchair correctly to:

On the day of your surgery:

See also: The night before your surgery, orthopedic

Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

See also: Blood donation before surgery

After the Procedure

You will stay in the hospital for 2 - 3 days. During that time you will recover from your anesthesia, and from the surgery itself. You will be asked to start moving and walking as soon as the first day after surgery.

Some people need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home. At a rehab center, you will learn how to safely do your daily activities on your own. Home health services are also available.

For more information, see also:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Hip replacement surgery results are usually excellent. Most or all of your pain and stiffness should go away.

Some people may have problems with infection, loosening, or even dislocation of the new hip joint.

Over time -- sometimes as long as 15 - 20 years -- the artificial hip joint will loosen. You may need a second replacement.

Younger, more active people may wear out parts of their new hip. It may need to be replaced before the artificial hip loosens.


Eikelboom JW, Karthikeyan G, Fagel N, Hirsh J. American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American College of Chest Physicians guidelines for venous thromboembolism prevention in hip and knee arthroplasty differ: what are the implications for clinicians and patients? Chest. 2009;135:513-520.

Harkess JW. Arthroplasty of the hip. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 7.

Jones CA. Total joint arthroplasties: current concepts of patient outcomes after surgery. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2007;33(1):71-86.

St Clair SF. Hip and knee arthroplasty in the geriatric population. Clin Geriatr Med. 2006;22(3): 515-533.

Schmalzried TP. Metal-metal bearing surfaces in hip arthroplasty. Orthopedics. 2009;32.

Lindstrom D, Sadr Azodi O, Wladis A, et al. Effects of a perioperative smoking cessation intervention on postoperative complications: a randomized trial. Ann Surg. 2008;248:739-745.

Review Date: 6/22/2012
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery (9/22/2011).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.