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Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

1325 S Cliff Avenue
P.O. Box 5045
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5045
605-322-8000

Total Hip Replacement

Hip joint replacement is surgery to replace all or part of the hip joint with a man-made (artificial) joint. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis.

Overview

About the hip joint and replacementhip replacement

Your hip joint is made up of two major parts. One or both parts may be replaced during surgery:

  • The hip socket (a part of the pelvic bone called the acetabulum)
  • The upper end of the thighbone (called the femoral head)

    The new hip that replaces the old one is made up of these parts:

    • A socket, which is usually made of strong metal
    • A liner, which fits inside the socket. It is usually plastic, but some surgeons are now trying other materials, like ceramic and metal. The liner allows the hip to move smoothly.
    • A metal or ceramic ball that will replace the round head (top) of your thigh bone.
    • A metal stem that is attached to the thigh bone to make the joint more stable.

    Surgery details

    After you receive anesthesia, your surgeon will make a surgical cut to open up your hip joint. Often this cut is over the buttocks. Then your surgeon will:

    • Cut and remove the head of your thigh bone
    • Clean out your hip socket and remove the rest of the cartilage and damaged or arthritic bone
    • Put the new hip socket in place, then insert the metal stem into your thigh bone
    • Place the correct-sized ball for the new joint
    • Secure all of the new parts in place, sometimes with a special cement
    • Repair the muscles and tendons around the new joint
    • Close the surgical cut

    This surgery usually takes 1 to 3 hours.

    Before Surgery

    Before the procedure

    Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.

    During the 2 weeks before your surgery

    • Prepare your home.
    • Two weeks before surgery you may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other drugs.
    • You may also need to stop taking medicine that can make you more likely to get an infection. This includes methotrexate, Enbrel, and other medicines that suppress your immune system.
    • Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.
    • If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will ask you to see the doctor who treats you for these conditions.
    • Tell your doctor if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol, more than 1 or 2 drinks a day.
    • If you smoke, you need to stop. Ask your doctor or nurse for help. Smoking will slow down wound and bone healing.
    • Always let your doctor know about any cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illness you have before your surgery.
    • You may want to visit a physical therapist to learn some exercises to do before surgery and to practice using crutches or a walker.
    • Set up your home to make everyday tasks easier

    Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or wheelchair correctly to

    • Get in and out of the shower
    • Go up and down stairs
    • Sit down to use the toilet and stand up after using the toilet
    • Use the shower chair

    On the day of your surgery

    • You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.
    • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.

    After Surgery

    After the procedure

    After the Procedure You will stay in the hospital for approximately two or three nights following surgery. You will be asked to start moving and walking as soon as you are able after surgery. It is our goal to have you up and moving around as soon as you can to help prevent any complications. As you recover, you will be under the care of highly-trained health care professionals.

    Pain control during and after surgery is one of the most common concerns of joint replacement patients. There are several different types of pain control methods available that will keep you comfortable and allow you to be up and walking shortly after surgery. Your doctor will choose the method right for you based upon your medical history, the amount of pain you are having and your phase of recovery.

    You will participate in physical therapy twice daily to increase your strength and your ability to walk with the use of an assistive device. You will increase your walking distance and exercises each day as you recover.

    Full recovery will take three months to a year. Some people may need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they return home. A health care professional will help determine the safest options for you at the time of discharge to ensure your needs are met.

    Physical Therapy

    Exercising is important to obtain the best results from total joint replacement surgery. You will participate in physical therapy while you are in the hospital to help regain strength and mobility after surgery. Upon discharge, you will receive a home exercise program to help with your recovery. You may also participate in a physical therapy program at a facility or in your home.

    Your therapist will help establish individualized goals for you to reach for optimal recovery.

    For more information:

    Therapy and Rehab

    You will participate in physical therapy twice daily to increase your strength and your ability to walk with the use of an assistive device. You will increase your walking distance and exercises each day as you recover.

    Full recovery will take three months to a year. Some people may need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they return home. A health care professional will help determine the safest options for you at the time of discharge to ensure your needs are met.

    Exercising is important to obtain the best results from total joint replacement surgery. You will participate in physical therapy while you are in the hospital to help regain strength and mobility after surgery. Upon discharge, you will receive a home exercise program to help with your recovery. You may also participate in a physical therapy program at a facility or in your home.

    Your therapist will help establish individualized goals for you to reach for optimal recovery.

    View Animation

    Total Hip Replacement

    The surgery information on this page is intended as an informational resource only. Each patient and surgical situation is different. Patients should discuss details of a surgery, recovery and pain management with their doctor(s).

    The information provided above should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.

    The procedure text and imagery on this page are part of our illustrated health encyclopedia provided by A.D.A.M. You can view the full article in our illustrated  health encyclopedia.

    Any video animations on this page are provided by Krames Staywell/Swarm Interactive.