Hip Replacement Surgery – an Overview

Arthritis causes deterioration of the cartilage cushion in the hip joint.  Once it’s bad enough, pain results from the bearing surfaces of the joint rubbing against each other any time movement is attempted.  When cartilage is lost and a joint is “bone on bone,” the cartilage will not grow back.  The arthritic joint will only continue to worsen.  Total hip replacement surgery involves replacing the damaged portions of the hip joint with a synthetic implant.

The hip is a ball and socket joint.  During surgery, the femur (thigh bone) is prepared to accept a new ball joint and stem.  A synthetic cup and liner will be placed in the pelvic bone to forum the new socket.  Once recovery is complete, the joint should function normally again with little or no discomfort.  The design of the implant offers you renewed stability and function.  Hip replacement surgery has a very high success rate, and it can offer incredible quality of life improvement for most patients.  Your doctor may recommend a total hip replacement if you have damage to the joint surfaces and pain that physical therapy, medicines, and exercise doesn’t help.

More than 450,000 hip replacements are done each year in the USA alone.  It is not only a successful procedure in the US, but all over the world.  As you consider the option to have a hip replaced, we believe patients should seek out as much information as possible on the mechanics of the joint and all options available for treatment.  BoneSmart offers unbiased information to help you on our website, a forum to address your specific questions, and an annual Joint Replacement Awareness Day in May to help you make the right decision for you about hip replacement surgery.

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Possible Hip Replacement Surgery Complications

Despite its complexity, hip replacement surgery is a procedure with a high success rate. Although any surgical procedure carries the risk of complications, they are quite rare. It is important for patients to understand these risks prior to consenting to surgery. You should discuss the possible complications with your surgeon and learn about ways to […] […]


Hip Revision Surgery

A hip revision procedure involves removing and replacing a worn, loosened or misaligned implant in order to relieve pain and improve the function of the implanted hip system. In the majority of cases, hip revision surgery is more complex and time consuming than the original hip replacement.1 With over 332,000 hip replacements performed in the […] […]

Alignment tool in place

Micro-Posterior Hip Approach

This innovative procedure employs various techniques that are applied with extra care and diligence to achieve some good early outcomes such as the ability to walk with minimal assistance on day one or two. The incision is a small one made as shown. The muscle structures are never cut as such but a pathway is […] […]

Hip Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy (not to be confused with arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure that allows your orthopedic surgeon to see, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint within your body. Your doctor may recommend hip arthroscopy if you have a condition that does not respond to non-surgical treatment but has not progressed so far as to indicate a total hip replacement is […] […]

hip replacement incision types

Hip Replacement: Direct Anterior Approach

When a total hip replacement is performed, your surgeon has a few approaches (type of incisions) to choose from. The different incisions are defined by their relation to the musculature of the hip. The various approaches are posterior (Moore or southern), lateral (Hardinge or Liverpool), antero-lateral (Watson-Jones), and anterior (Smith-Petersen). The Direct Anterior Approach (DAA) […] […]

Hip Osteoarthritis

Hip Osteoarthritis (Arthritis)

Osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis is a degenerative disease in which the surface cartilage of a joint wears away eventually leaving just bone beneath it exposed. Healthy cartilage acts as padding in the joint and under normal conditions is perfectly smooth. When the cartilage deteriorates, it becomes rough and causes the pain […] […]

Hip Pain

Hip Pain and Problems from Injuries, Arthritis

Problems with our hips can be caused by diseases such as osteoarthritis or avascular necrosis. Other hip problems are attributed to injuries such as sprains, bursitis, dislocations and fractures. Treatments for hip problems range from basic pain management techniques to sophisticated medical treatments to cure disease and repair injuries. Hip pain Hip pain is a common […] […]

Hip Abductor Exercises

Hip Replacement Recovery: Exercises & Physical Therapy After Surgery

One of the most rewarding things to look forward to after hip replacement surgery is regaining mobility and independence that were previously compromised by an arthritic hip. In addition to getting adequate rest and managing your post-operative pain, the road to recovery following a total hip replacement includes light exercise and physical therapy techniques that […] […]

Austin Moore partial hip replacement implant

Partial Hip Replacement Implants

Partial hip replacement implants are used most commonly to treat a fractured hip in an older patient, rather than a hip damaged by osteoarthritis, for which total hip replacement is a treatment.1 It is usually an emergency surgery made necessary from a fall or other accident fracturing the hip. Partial hip replacement surgery is more […] […]

Minimally invasive hip replacement approaches and procedures

“Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery” is a general term that describes several variations of existing surgical techniques that are designed to reduce the tissue trauma associated with hip replacement. […]

How successful is hip replacement surgery?

How successful is hip replacement surgery?

Total hip replacement is one of the most successful and cost effective interventions in medicine with over 310,000 such procedures performed in the United States in 2010.1 The incidence of hip replacements increased by 49% between 2000 and 20101 due partly to improvements in the science of hip replacement implants, experience of surgeons, and the […] […]

About Hip Replacement

In order to understand hip replacement it helps to first understand the hip joint itself, the types of hip replacement surgery, and a little about the hip replacement implants for each type of hip replacement. The Parts of Your Hip Joint The hip joint is a common ball joint comprised of just two bones, the […] […]

Reducing Post-Operative Pain from Hip Replacement

For hip replacement patients, post-operative pain is among the top concerns prior to surgery. To be honest, there’s not an awful lot a person with an arthritic hip can do before hip replacement surgery to lessen postoperative pain. When joints are damaged to the extent they need replacement, the damage is irreversible and medications will do little […] […]

Hip Resurfacing

Unlike a total hip replacement, hip resurfacing effectively relines the hip joint rather than completely replacing it. It is viewed as a bone-preserving alternative procedure for qualified patients that can delay (usually by several years) the need for a total hip replacement. In these cases the hip has been compromised by localized arthritis, wear and […] […]

Partial Hip Replacement Surgery

Partial hip replacement, also called hip hemiarthroplasty, is a surgical procedure where only the femoral head (the ball) of the damaged hip joint is replaced. The acetabulum (the socket) is not replaced. By contrast, in total hip replacement, the acetabulum is replaced with a prosthetic. Broken and fractured hips – traumatic hip injury – are […] […]

Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Recalls

Traditionally, hip implants were made of ceramic and metal parts. More recently, some devices began using metal-on-metal components for increased durability. Although the vast majority of patients have not had any problems with metal-on-metal implants, there has been some concern that, when the metal parts rub on each other, small bits of metal are shed […] […]

Hip Implant Materials

Hip Replacement Implant Materials

There are a large number of hip implant devices on the market. Each manufacturer has different models but each style falls into one of four basic material categories: metal on plastic (polyethylene or UHMWPE) metal on metal (MoM) ceramic on plastic (UHMWPE) ceramic on ceramic (CoC) These category names reference the materials used for the […] […]

Specialized and Custom Fitted Hip Implant Options

Several manufacturers offer specialized or custom-fit knee implants – but what about hips? For example, do women need gender-specific hip implants? Orthopedic surgeons can choose from a wide array of standard hip implants, which range in size and are often modular, so that a surgeon can choose femoral stem of one size or style and […] […]

Hip Implant Fixation

Types of Total Hip Implants and Fixation

During a hip replacement, the head of the femur is removed. A metal stem is inserted and a ball fitted on top of the stem to replace the head of the femur. A metal liner or cup is then placed in the acetabulum and may be fixed with 2 or 3 screws. Into this is […] […]

Prescription Medication Bottle / Pills

Pain Medication and Addiction after Knee or Hip Surgery

The proper use of pain medication after knee replacement surgery or hip replacement surgery is a very important aspect of recovery. When your post-op pain is controlled, your pain and stress is minimized and your body’s energies will focus on healing. You will be able to perform physical therapy and home exercises with minimal discomfort. […] […]

Durability of Hip Implants: How Long Do Hip Replacements Last?

Durability of Hip Implants: How Long Do Hip Replacements Last?

The short answer is hip implants generally last between 15 and 20 years but often much longer. There are many still active patients whose hip prostheses were put in as long as 30-40 years ago. The important factors to consider are the condition of the patient (osteoporosis or other bone conditions), general physical health and […] […]

Partial Knee Implant (image courtesy of ConforMIS)

Is the Plastic Used in Knee and Hip Implants Safe?

Every total knee replacement implant and many total hip replacement implants utilize ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), a plastic, in their components. In knee implants, the tibial component is a flat metal platform with a polyethylene cushion and the patellar component, if used, is a dome-shaped piece of polyethylene. In hip implants, the acetabular socket is […] […]

Bilateral Total Hip Replacement

Bilateral total hip replacement surgery replaces both hips at the same time, generally due to arthritic pain and stiffness. It is not terribly common for arthritis in both hips to progress at the same rate, such that a bilateral hip replacement is necessary. But it does certainly happen on occasion. Health Considerations There are pros […] […]

Recovering from Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Recovery Time While each person will recover from hip surgery at a different rate, many doctors will advise you to allow 10-12 weeks before returning to light duty work or office jobs. Returning to work time is longer if your job requires a lot of standing, walking or physical activity. Typically patients can return to “normal […] […]

Hip Implant

Hip Implants

Arthritis ‘wear and tear’ of the hip joint leads many to consider hip implants. Depending on the severity of your condition, you and your hip surgeon may discuss and consider total hip replacement, hip resurfacing or partial hip replacement. The hip implant components differ for each procedure. There are several different choices of hip implants to consider, each […] […]

Surgical Procedures and Other Hip Treatments

The hip joint is where the head of the thigh bone or femur meets the pelvis. The femoral head is ball-shaped and fits into a cup-shaped compartment in the pelvis. The hip joint can be damaged by osteoarthritis, other forms of arthritis, and other traumatic or degenerative conditions. Hip pain caused by this damage can […] […]

Computer-Assisted Robotic Hip Replacement Surgery

In computer-assisted robotic surgery, a robot acts as an extension of the surgeon’s eyes and hands in a minimally invasive surgery to replace an arthritic hip. The robotics help surgeons operate more effectively through a smaller incision. Total hip replacements are routinely done around with world with a high degree of success. When the replacements […] […]

Hip Resurfacing vs. Partial Hip Replacement

Hip Resurfacing Hip resurfacing is generally considered to be a good option for younger patients as less bone is resected from the upper end of the thigh bone. However, some surgeons will do this procedure on older patients too if they feel it appropriate. The resurfacing consists of installation of a cap on the upper […] […]

Benefits of Online Communities for Hip Replacement Patients

Online patient communities and patient forums have sprouted up all across the web, focusing on conditions ranging from insomnia to cancer. Our own hip replacement forums have proven to be invaluable sources of support and information to thousands of members and millions of visitors — and the benefits of such online communities are becoming even clearer […] […]


What are the risks of delaying my hip replacement surgery?

As a patient, only you can decide when you are ready for surgery. Doctors and surgeons may make recommendations, but the call is ultimately yours. So, what if you just opt to deal with the pain in your hip, and postpone surgery? As with many medical situations, the recommendations of your surgeon should be taken […] […]


How do I know if I need hip replacement surgery?

It is certainly true that not everyone with hip joint pain needs a total hip replacement, but when your quality of life grows increasingly diminished due to painful osteoarthritis, you may be advised by your doctor to consider options for hip replacement surgery. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when you’ve had enough pain and […] […]

second opinion about surgery

Why is it important to get a second opinion for a total hip replacement?

When choosing a hip replacement surgeon you will want to compare two or even three surgeons. Total hip surgery is a major time commitment (you could be recovering for up to two months). It’s also a major lifestyle change, and usually expensive. Getting a second opinion will ultimately help you to gain perspective on the […] […]

How do I manage pain after total hip replacement surgery?

Patients about to undergo hip replacement surgery have many questions, and among the most common are those relating to pain management. Post-operative hip replacement patients want to know whether they will be able to sleep properly on pain medication, how much discomfort they will have with the normal activities of daily life, and how many […] […]

Total Hip Replacement

Total Hip Replacement

In a total hip replacement both the thigh bone (femur) and the socket are replaced with implant materials and prostheses. There are a number of different approaches a surgeon can take, depending on her analysis of your particular case. […]

How long does it take to recover from total hip replacement surgery?

Perhaps the most common questions patients have about hip replacement are regarding the recovery process and recovery time. There is no definite answer, as each individual’s situation differs significantly from anyone else’s, but typically patients return to normal activity within 3-6 months. To be more specific, health care providers refer to a patient’s hip replacement […] […]

How to choose a hip or knee replacement surgeon and prosthesis

You’ve decided you want hip or knee replacement surgery and now it’s time to choose a surgeon and decide what kind of implant is right for me. Or maybe you’re asking the question, “When will I be ready?” Hip or knee replacement surgery requires careful planning, but it is also something that can give you […] […]

How much time will I have to be off work for hip replacement surgery?

Recovery after hip replacement surgery involves a slow process of rehabilitation. Swelling remains a serious issue for most patients. While each person will recover at a different rate, doctors expect patients to return to work between six and eight weeks for office jobs and three to six months for physically demanding labor. Return to work […] […]

Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgery for Hip Replacement

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is one surgical approach with the goal in mind of enabling surgeons to perform hip replacement surgery with greater precision and less injury to the body. […]

What is the difference between hip resurfacing and total hip replacement?

The hip joint is a simple ball and socket shape. The ball is at the top of your thigh bone and the socket is in the side of your pelvic bone. Depending on the amount of damage caused by arthritis, a surgeon may recommend hip resurfacing or total hip replacement surgery to a patient. […]

Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery

This page provides a brief introduction to preparation for hip replacement surgery. It can help you make a list of questions to ask your doctor, but it is not meant to provide complete information. Always check with your surgeon before taking any action regarding hip replacement surgery. Mental/Emotional Preparation One of the first preparations for […] […]

Choosing a Hip Implant (Prosthesis)

One of the things you will want to discuss with your chosen hip surgeon is the type of hip replacement prosthesis he or she will be implanting. There is most certainly no single “best implant” on the market. Many manufacturers – including the ones listed on this site – create and sell many different hip […] […]

Conservative or Non-Invasive Treatment for Hip Pain

Hip replacement surgery – like all surgeries – is generally only recommended after all conservative (non-invasive) treatment options fail to provide relief from symptoms. There are a number of non-surgical treatment options for hip pain including pain caused by osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis, ligament injuries, tendinitis and bursitis. Exercise and Physical Therapy Exercise […] […]

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) for Hip Replacement

Improvements in technique and surgical instrumentation allow today’s surgeons to insert prosthetic hip and knee joints using shorter skin cuts with less surgical trauma, resulting in fewer days spent in the hospital, smaller scars and shorter rehabilitation. These most recent trends in hip replacement surgery focus on improved rehabilitation and pain management to accelerate post-surgery […] […]

Hip Replacement Approaches

There are a variety of materials used to create the prosthetic components of an artificial hip. But there is also more than one way to go about performing a hip replacement surgery – known as different “approaches.” The different incisions used in a hip replacement surgery are all defined by their relation to the musculature […] […]

Other Surgical Interventions for Hip Conditions

While total hip replacement is the most common hip surgery, there are a number of other surgical interventions to relieve hip pain of various genesis. As is discussed elsewhere on this site, arthritis is the main cause of hip replacement but there can be many other hip conditions, both traumatic and chronic, even congenital. For […] […]


Reasons for Hip Replacement Surgery

There are several conditions which can lead to chronic hip pain and disability, requiring hip replacement. The overwhelming majority of hip replacement surgeries though are necessitated by arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and traumatic arthritis are the most common forms of this disease. Arthritis affects over 40 million Americans, over 10 million in the United Kingdom […] […]

hip replacement implants

Total Hip Replacement Implants

A total hip replacement replaces your arthritic hip joint and eliminates the damaged bearing surfaces that are causing pain. The design of the implant offers you renewed stability and minimizes the wear process. The traditional metal and polyethylene implants have been in use since the 1960’s but technological advances since then have made other materials […] […]

Anatomic Hip

About the Hip Joint

The hip is the body’s second largest weight-bearing joint (after the knee). It is a ball and socket joint at the juncture of the leg and pelvis. The rounded head of the femur (thighbone) forms the ball, which fits into the acetabulum (a cup-shaped socket in the pelvis). Ligaments connect the ball to the socket […] […]

Choosing a Hip Replacement Surgeon

You’ve suffered through pain and discomfort related to your hip degeneration and have finally decided to consult with an orthopedic surgeon. Choosing the right orthopedic surgeon is very important to a successful surgery and recovery. A few considerations when selecting an orthopedic surgeon and scheduling your hip replacement surgery: Experience: How long has the surgeon […] […]