Hip replacement surgery

Hip replacement surgery replaces your damaged hip joint with an artificial joint to ease pain and discomfort, and improve movement and quality of life.

Common questions

What is hip replacement surgery?

Hip replacement surgery replaces your damaged hip joint with an artificial joint to ease pain and discomfort, and improve movement and quality of life. 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. 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 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.

Why would I have hip replacement surgery?

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.

You may be suffering severe pain, reduced mobility, and difficulty sleeping and working due to osteoarthritis of the hip.

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

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 happens during hip replacement 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.

What should I expect after hip replacement surgery?

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.

Hip Replacement Patient Journey

Find out more about your journey at Benenden Hospital during your hip replacement surgery.

Contact Benenden Hospital

It’s easy to make an appointment; you can ask your GP or give us a call on 01580 230661.