Mr Matthew Gee MBBS, BSC, MSC, FRCS (Tr&Orth) Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Total Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement is a common procedure that replaces a damaged hip joint with an artificial one. The procedure is usually performed in older adults over the age of 60 and can help to reduce pain, restore mobility, and improve quality of life.

Who Should Consider Total Hip Replacement?

Hip replacement surgery is performed when the hip joint is worn or damaged. The most common reason for this is osteoarthritis, but you may also need to have a hip replacement if you have rheumatoid arthritis, have had childhood hip problems such as dysplasia or perthes disease or other disorders affecting your hip such as avascular necrosis or trauma. Total hip replacement may also be required to treat a fractured hip. The surgery will only be recommended if other treatment options haven’t help to ease pain or improve your mobility and your symptoms are severe enough to justify putting you through a major surgical procedure. You will also need to be well enough to undergo the operation.

The Procedure

Total hip replacement surgery is often carried out either under a general anaesthetic or using a spinal anaesthetic with sedation. Either way you will be asleep and unaware of anything that happens during the procedure. The surgeon will make an incision on the side of your hip. Mr Gee utilises both the standard posterior approach and the more minimally invasive SuperPath approach. The damaged joint will be removed and replaced with an artificial hip. Both the ball at the upper end of your thigh bone and the socket in your pelvis to which it attaches will be replaced. The surgical incision will then be stitched up and you will be taken to the recovery ward to wake up. After the operation, you will need to use crutches for a period of between two to four weeks and your doctor may recommend an exercise programme to help with rehabilitation. We recommend not driving for between four and six weeks.

Risks and Benefits

Having a total hip replacement can make a big difference to your quality of life, but it is important to be aware of both the risks and benefits of the procedure:

  • Surgery always carries some risks, such as infection, bleeding, blood clots and nerve damage. Other risks specific to total hip replacement include dislocation and leg length discrepancy. The chances of serious complications happening is small, but your surgeon will explain them in detail before the operation.
  • The artificial joint is designed to function for at least 15 years, but further surgery may be needed if it has to be revised. The commonest reasons for revision are dislocation, infection and wear.
  • After you recover from the operation, your mobility should be improved and you should no longer experience any pain from your hip. You should be able to return to most everyday activities within a couple of months, but it can take up to a year to feel the full effects of your new hip.

If you are interested in arranging a private hip replacement or you have questions about the procedure, get in touch to arrange a consultation with an experienced orthopaedic surgeon at a time that suits you.

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