At Benenden Hospital Trust we understand the suffering, anxiety and disruption that can be caused by having problems with a hip joint. That’s why we offer rapid access to our consultations and treatments for private insured and self-funded patients and to Benenden members as discounted self-paying patients. Patients can also access our hip services via the NHS e-Referral Service, receiving the same high quality of treatment and care.
Using state-of-the-art theatres, single en-suite rooms and a rigorous approach to infection control, means we have an unblemished record when it comes to serious cases of Hospital acquired infection, such as MRSA or C-diff, as defined by the Department of Health.
Our comfortable environment in the heart of Kent, caring staff and use of the Rapid Recovery Programme means we will help you achieve a speedy recovery, allowing you to get back on your feet as soon as possible.
To find out more our Private Patient Co-ordinators will be pleased to assist with your enquiry.
Call: 01580 242 521
There are many reasons for hip replacement. It may be required if one (or both) of your hip joints becomes damaged and causes you persistent pain or problems with everyday activities.
Normally the surfaces of a hip joint are lined with cartilage which helps the joint move smoothly and without causing pain. But when the joint surfaces become worn, normal movement becomes painful as the joint becomes stiff and inflamed.
There are many reasons why the joint lining can become worn or damaged; some common reasons are explained here.
Osteoarthritis, the so called ‘wear and tear arthritis’, can cause ligament or tendon problems, as well as inflammation within the joint, the bone or the cartilage, eventually leading to the bones rubbing against each other.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system, which usually fights infection, attacks the cells that line your joints, making them stiff, swollen and painful. Over time, this can damage the joint itself, the cartilage and nearby bone.
Hip fractures are more common in older people who are more likely to suffer a fall because of muscle weakness or problems with balance. It may be necessary to replace a severely damaged hip joint after a fall.
A hip replacement (arthroplasty) is usually only recommended after non-surgical treatments such as pain relief, physiotherapy and muscle strengthening have been tried first. Hip surgery replaces a worn joint with an artificial ball and socket joint implant.
Total hip replacement replaces the upper end of the femur (thigh bone) with a new ball (typically metal or ceramic). The socket section is then resurfaced with a plastic (polyethylene) lined metal cup. The joint may be held in place within the existing bones with or without the use of cement.
The first hip replacement took place over 50 years ago with many millions of people around the world having the surgery every year. Total hip replacement is now one of the most reliable procedures with very predictable outcomes. An artificial hip joint will usually last at least ten years.
Osteoarthritis of the hip is the most common reason for a hip replacement. It tends to affect middle aged or older people, with symptoms including loss of movement and mobility with either mild pain or severe discomfort.
When non-invasive methods to control pain and help movement are no longer effective a total hip replacement may be considered. Your consultant will discuss your medical history, assess your range of movement and muscle strength, and look at X-rays of the damage within the joint before recommending the best course of treatment
Total hip replacement has a very positive effect on the lives of most patients, enabling them to live pain-free and active lives again.
Preparing for a successful hip operation
Your initial consultation will, where possible, include tests and diagnostic imaging (X-rays or MRI scans) and an assessment of your fitness for anaesthesia on the same day, to reduce the number of visits you need to make to the Hospital. You'll also be entered into our Rapid Recovery Programme.
It may be recommended that you start an exercise programme to strengthen your muscles around the joint and increase flexibility before surgery as this can benefit the recovery time after your operation.
What to expect on the day of surgery
On the day of your surgery, you'll meet your consultant and anaesthetist before you're prepared for theatre. Our hip replacement surgery is performed by a highly skilled team of consultants. The operation itself takes up to two hours, after which you’ll be taken to the recovery room where you’ll be observed until you’re fit to return to the ward.
After your operation
Your recovery in hospital usually takes around three days and is managed by a highly skilled team of nurses. In some cases patients are able to be discharged safely after just one overnight stay. This is only possible if the consultant feels it is appropriate and if the surgical and support team are able to use local anaesthetic for pain relief rather than a general anaesthetic and if a patient has sufficient support in place at home to aid their recovery. While you are in hospital you’ll be visited every day by a physiotherapist who’ll help you regain mobility through carefully planned exercise. Your hip will be tender and painful at first and you may also have a swollen knee or ankle for a few months as well as bruising.
We’ll only let you leave hospital once we're happy that it’s safe for you to do so.
Recovery times will vary depending on the general health and fitness of the individual patient and the type of surgery carried out.
Your surgeon will give you information on looking after your hip and it’s important to follow this advice. During your time at Benenden Hospital, a physiotherapist will teach you exercises to help strengthen the hip and explain what you should and shouldn’t do after the operation. You will also be on the Rapid Recovery Programme which helps to reduce your time in hospital.
The Rapid Recovery Programme allows your joint the time it needs to properly heal and regain its full function, while giving you the best chance of making a full and active recovery.
The Programme focuses on getting you safely out of bed and starting to move the joint as soon as possible with the support of pain relief management.
The Rapid Recovery Programme allows quick yet safe recovery from a hip replacement operation. Through the Programme the average stay in hospital is reduced, however a patient never leaves Benenden Hospital until they are fit and safe to discharge.
If your GP wants to refer you to a consultant for a possible joint replacement, you can choose to be treated at Benenden Hospital.
If you are Privately Insured or Self-Funded
For a competitive quote call our dedicated Private Patient Co-ordinators at Benenden Hospital, on 01580 242 521. If you're privately insured, you will need to call your insurance company to check that your treatment at Benenden Hospital is covered. Payment for treatment is your responsibility, so always check that every stage of treatment is covered in advance. Once you are happy with the quote you can book your first appointment through the Private Patient Co-ordinators on 01580 242 521. You will need to ask your GP to write a referral letter which should be sent to the Private Patient Office at Benenden Hospital.
If you are a member of Benenden
You can access treatment as a self-funded patient receiving an ‘exclusive to members’ reduction of 10% on the full private cost of the treatment. For a competitive quote call our dedicated Private Patient Co-ordinators at Benenden Hospital, on 01580 242 521. Once you are happy with the quote you can book your first appointment through the Private Patient Co-ordinators on 01580 242 521. You will need to ask your GP to write a referral letter which should be sent to the Private Patient Office at Benenden Hospital.
If you are an NHS patient
NHS patients can choose to have their treatment at Benenden Hospital through NHS Choice. Your GP may recommend that you come to Benenden Hospital, or alternatively you can specify that you wish to be treated here. Your GP, or you can make the booking at NHS e-Referral Service at https://www.ebs.ncrs.nhs.uk/ or you can call them on 0345 608 8888. Please note: Treatment as an NHS patient will be to the current government guidelines of within 18 weeks from referral.
Your GP can also send your referral via fax or post to our Patient Appointments Department.
A total hip replacement gives 90% of patients a normal life, free from pain. This can make a huge difference to the quality of life experienced by these patients, who may previously have suffered severe pain, reduced mobility, and difficulty sleeping, working or having a normal social life.
Hip replacement surgery is a long-term solution; a cemented hip replacement usually lasts for at least ten years and artificial joints that are fixed directly to the bone may last even longer. Benenden Hospital prides itself on only using implants with an established track record of safety and has never used metal-on-metal implants.
Hip joints are made of many different materials, including metal, ceramic and plastic. Each material has slightly different properties, and each joint is chosen to suit a person's particular needs to give the best results.
Plastic (polyethylene) is an excellent material for hip movement; it has been used in orthopaedic implants for many years and is very durable. Ceramic implants have excellent wear properties, making them suitable for long-term wear resistance.
Metal on metal hip implants feature a metal ball in a metal cup designed to withstand the demands of active lifestyles, with good wear resistance and a good range of motion.
Following recent media coverage about metal on metal joints for hip replacements causing an adverse reaction, we would like to reassure you that the risk is extremely low and that Benenden Hospital Trust has never used metal on metal hip replacement joints, preferring instead to use polyethylene or ceramic joints.
Hip replacement surgery is a safe, routine operation. However, your general health is an important factor in the success of your operation and your recovery time. Sometimes complications can occur, such as:
- Infection in the wound or joint - we’ll give you antibiotics during and after your operation to help prevent infection.
- Risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) - this can occur in the veins of the leg for up to six weeks after your operation. We help prevent this by using compression stockings and blood thinning injections.
- Mild and temporary nerve damage in the leg.
- Small cracks in the bone - a fracture can occur during your operation which may increase the recovery period.
- Dislocation of the new hip - this is most likely to occur in the first few months after surgery when the hip is still healing. Further surgery may be necessary.
- Shortness in the leg with the new hip joint - a raised shoe may be necessary.
You can discuss the possible complications with your Surgeon and learn about ways to reduce your risks before your operation.
Before being considered for a hip replacement it is likely that you will be given a number of non-surgical treatments and medications to see if they are effective in relieving hip pain and stiffness.
These may include:
- Painkillers, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory tablets, if your hip joint is also inflamed.
- Steroid injections may help in some cases, but their results are unpredictable.
- Pain-relieving creams, gels and rubs are available over the counter or on prescription.
- Exercise may help too, by strengthening the surrounding muscles. Stiffness and pain may improve for a short term solution.