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A hip replacement is a type of surgery where a damaged hip joint is replaced with an artificial one. The two parts of the joint, the acetabulum (socket) and the head of the femur (ball) are removed and replaced with implants.

Your surgeon will make an incision into your hip, remove the damaged hip joint and replace it with the artificial joint, known as a prosthesis. This will either be a metal alloy or ceramic. You will normally be given a spinal anaesthetic (to temporarily numb your legs) and some medication to make you sleepy, avoiding the need for a full general anaesthetic. The surgery will take around 90 minutes. You will need to stay in hospital for a few days after your operation.

If you need a hip replacement, you will have been experiencing increasing pain in your hip that can’t be helped by painkillers and/or has been restricting movement, activity and hindering sleep. Even everyday tasks will have been difficult because of the painful movement. Once you have recovered from surgery, you should be pain-free and able to resume normal activity and movement. Your consultant will talk to you about the level of activity you can do.

After your operation, you’re likely to feel some discomfort around the hip for a few weeks and you will need a walking aid, such as crutches, to help support you. We will aim to get you weight-bearing immediately after surgery. You will be helped by a physiotherapist and given exercises to do at home. Most patients will return to work between six and eight weeks after the operation. 

As with all surgical procedures, there can be some risks.

At the McIndoe Centre, we do everything we can to minimise risk of complications. Your surgeon will talk to you about any possible specific complications before you decide to have your operation.

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