The Hip

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint that allows the leg to move in a variety of positions. The joint is lined with a lubricating tissue called cartilage, which cushions the joint as it moves and bears weight. There are over 100 different kinds of arthritis conditions that can affect the human body and there are millions of people who are affected with arthritis each year.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that destroys the joint cartilage, often leading to painful bone-on-bone contact. It can cause pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of motion in the joint, which may vary in duration and severity from person to person.

Treatments such as pain relievers, physiotherapy, exercise, support braces, and weight reduction can help control the symptoms of osteoarthritis for some time. When these treatments fail to provide adequate relief from pain, total joint replacement may be recommended. Your surgeon will evaluate your particular condition and prescribe a treatment that will give you the best results.

Total Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement surgery or arthroplasty uses implants to resurface and replace the bones in the joint, re-creating the smooth gliding surfaces that were once infected.

Total hip replacement surgery requires anaesthesia. There are various types of anaesthesia available and your physician will explain your options to you before surgery.

In total hip surgery, an incision is made on the side of the hip to gain access to the joint. The affected portion of the "ball", or head of the femur, is removed to allow for the replacement hip component, which is made of a biocompatible (body friendly) metal alloy such as cobalt chrome or titanium.

The "socket" or acetabulum, is then shaped to accept the new socket, which is pressed into place.

There are several materials that can be used to line the socket in your pelvis, including polyethylene (plastic) and metal. Your surgeon will discuss these options with you.

Your surgery will last approximately 1.5-2 hours. Preoperative care and time spent in the recovery room can add an additional 2-3 hours before you are back in your hospital room.


While uncommon, complications can occur during and after surgery. Some complications include infection, blood clots, implant breakage, mal-alignment, and premature wear. Although implant surgery is extremely successful in most cases, some patients still experience pain and stiffness. No implant will last forever and factors such as the patient's post-surgical activities and weight can affect longevity of the implant. Be sure to discuss these and other risks with your surgeon.

There are many things that your surgeon may do to minimize the potential for complications. Your surgeon may have you see a medical physician before surgery to obtain tests. You may also need to have your dental work up to date and may be shown how to prepare your home to avoid falls.

After Surgery

After surgery, you will receive pain medication and start with physiotherapy. It is important to start moving your new hip as soon as possible after surgery to promote blood flow, to regain motion and to facilitate the recovery process. You will most likely be out of bed and walking with crutches or a walker within 24 hours of your surgery.

You will be shown how to safely climb and descend stairs, how to get into and out of a seated position and how to care for your hip once you return home. It is a good idea to enlist the help of friends or family once you do return home.

Before you leave the hospital, your physiotherapist will show you a variety of exercises designed to help you regain mobility and strength in your hip. You should be able to perform these exercises at home.

Most people are ready to go home between 3-7 days after surgery, however, some people may go to a separate rehabilitation facility, an option your surgeon should discuss with you before surgery. Many people will directly go home and begin supervised physiotherapy either at home or as an outpatient. When at home, it is important to continue with your exercises as your physician has instructed.

What activity range can be expected after this surgical procedure?

Diligent physiotherapy, proper diet and a willingness to follow all of your surgeons recommendations will contribute to a successful recovery after surgery. Most patients are able to walk without support and drive a car 3-6 weeks after surgery. Activities such as golf, doubles tennis and swimming can usually be resumed but only after a thorough evaluation by your surgeon. Always follow your doctor's recommendations, as recovery time will vary for each patient. You will typically not be allowed to participate in high-impact activities or contact sports. These types of activities place extreme amounts of pressure on the joints, which could lead to complications. Ask your surgeon which activities you should avoid after surgery.


We know the decision to have surgery is sometimes difficult. We hope this information has helped you understand some of the basics of total hip replacement surgery so that you can make the best decision for yourself. Millions of others have made this choice, allowing them to return back to a more active life.

Unterstanding Arthritis and Knee Replacement

Joint deterioration can affect every aspect of a person's life. In its early stages, it is common for people to ignore the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but as the disease progresses, activities like walking, driving and standing become challenging, painful and very difficult.

The first knee replacement procedure was performed over 30 years ago. Since then, millions of people have received knee replacements. Knee replacement surgery is a fairly routine procedure.

Knee replacement surgery can be an extremely successful surgical procedure. The term 'replacement' leads one to believe that surgeons remove the entire knee. In truth, your surgeon only resurfaces damaged cartilage found at the ends of the bones in your joints. Perhaps it should instead be called "knee cartilage replacement surgery".

This information will help you understand some of the basics of anatomy, arthritis and knee replacement surgery.This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the expert guidance of your orthopaedic surgeon. Any questions or concerns you may have should be directed toward your orthopaedic surgeon.

Home Page



Copyright @ Orthopaedic professional services 2010