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Get fast access to hip replacement surgery at Mount Alvernia in Guildford
Your hip is a ball and socket joint made of the top of your thigh-bone (also called a femur) and a cavity in your pelvis that makes up the socket (also called the acetabulum).
In a healthy hip, the bone surfaces are lined with cartilage that enables them to glide smoothly together. But, in conditions that affect the hip, such as osteoarthritis, this cartilage is damaged and the bones rub against one another. This harms the hip bones and leads to pain and stiffness.
During hip replacement surgery, your surgeon will remove the damaged parts of the bone and/or cartilage in your hip joint, and replace them with artificial parts. These artificial parts, also called prostheses, are made of metal, and the surface that lines them can be ceramic, plastic, or metal.
Circle Health Group also offers the opportunity to pay in instalments for your care using flexible finance.
If you have any of these conditions, and your quality of life is severely impacted by your hip pain and stiffness, it may be time for a hip replacement.
Signs that you may need a hip replacement include:
If you are experiencing any of the above signs, speak to your consultant. They will be able to tell you more about hip replacement surgery and help you with your decision. The decision to have a hip replacement will vary from person to person.
Hip replacements can be:
In total or full hip replacement, the hip socket is replaced as well as the top of the thigh-bone (or femoral head).
In a partial hip replacement or hemiarthroplasty, only the femoral head is replaced.
In terms of the materials used, hip replacements can be:
Depending on the angle from which the surgeon approaches the procedure, the three most common types of hip replacement are:
Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, but they are all effective and safe.
Your surgeon may choose which approach to use depending on what they are most used to and experienced with.
Hip replacement is a highly successful surgery that is in high demand and done very frequently.
However, it is still major surgery, and as with any major surgery, it comes with risks. Complications are rare, but the risk of them occurring increases with age. Such complications include:
There are also things you can do to make your recovery as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Adjustments to your home and lifestyle can also help you recover:
Making these preparations will make life during recovery easier and more comfortable.
The surgeon will make an incision over the hip or on the side of the hip. They will then remove the damaged parts of the bone and cartilage from your hip joint and replace them with artificial parts.
In partial hip replacement, the surgeon will only replace the femoral head. In full hip replacement, they will replace the femoral head and your hip socket.
They will then stitch the incision back together with stitches that dissolve.
Immediately after the surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room and then to your private en-suite room.
The entire procedure may last anywhere between 45 minutes and two hours. A partial hip replacement may take less time, and a total hip replacement can take longer.
Complications may extend the procedure.
Generally speaking, most patients will be able to walk one to two days after the operation, using a walker or crutches. Usually, people can leave the hospital two to three days after surgery and continue to use a walking aid.
You will meet with your physiotherapist as soon as possible after your hip replacement surgery to discuss a recovery plan that will be personalised to your needs.
Between two and six weeks, you can start gentle exercise recommended by your physiotherapist.
Walking slowly for long periods of time is helpful for regaining fitness. You may also be able to return to work at this stage, depending on the type of work that you do.
Bending down to do things like tying your shoes is not recommended during this period.
You can usually exercise by week 6, although lower-impact forms of exercise may be possible sooner. Swimming may also be fine at the 6-week mark if the incision has fully healed.
Between six and 12 weeks of hip replacement surgery, you should be able to resume your day-to-day activities.
Most people no longer need a walking aid at eight weeks after hip replacement. They also tend to feel like their lives are mostly back to normal between 10 and 12 weeks post-surgery.
Driving may be possible at week 8, although that depends on a few factors, such as the progress of your recovery or whether you had your left hip or your right hip replaced.
Most people can comfortably bend down to tie their shoelaces at three months after surgery.
By three to six months after the surgery, you should see the greatest improvement in pain, hip function, and stiffness.
The positive mental health effects of hip replacement surgery tend to show at six months after the procedure — health-related quality of life improves, and feelings of anxiety and depression drop significantly by the six-month threshold.
A full recovery from hip replacement surgery may take between six and 12 months, but it’s important to remember everyone is different and many people take much less than that.
At Mount Alvernia Hospital, hip replacement treatment packages include a comprehensive aftercare plan. You will be supported in your journey by the same compassionate clinical team from beginning to end.
Some swelling and pain around the hip are normal after hip replacement.
To help relieve pain, you can:
Paying attention to your pain levels is important throughout recovery, as more serious pain can be a sign of a hip replacement complication.
According to recent international research, about 85% of hip replacements last for 15 years. Over half of them (58%) last for 25 years.
This is good news, because it means that you are unlikely to need a second hip replacement further down the line.
The hospital is a leading provider of independent healthcare, with excellent patient satisfaction surveys and good ratings on all accounts awarded by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Our hip replacement specialists are internationally trained, they have experience with complex sports injuries, or have published their own research in reputable academic journals.