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Hip replacement surgery

Fast track your hip replacement surgery in London

Hip replacement surgery replaces your natural hip joint with an artificial one known as a prosthesis. It is normally carried out when your natural hip has been damaged by wear and tear, also known as osteoarthritis, to such an extent that other treatments are no longer able to relieve the symptoms of pain and stiffness sufficiently. The new artificial hip restores pain-free movement in your joint.

Approximately 160,000 total hip and knee replacement procedures are performed in England and Wales every year, with one third of these carried out in the private sector.1

If you live in London and are considering hip replacement surgery, you will find this page helpful because it explains:

  • Why you might be advised to have hip replacement surgery by your doctor
  • How hip replacement surgery is carried out
  • Why more people are choosing to have their hip surgery privately at The London Independent

If you would like to discuss hip surgery with one of our dedicated consultants, you can book a private consultation at a time that is convenient to you, or call us to speak with a friendly member of our advisory team.

The information given on this page is specific to The London Independent Hospital in East London. If you live elsewhere in the UK, don’t despair – we can still help you as Circle Health Group has the largest network of private hospitals in the UK. Use our ‘hospital finder’ by clicking on the ‘Hospitals’ link in the grey bar near the top of this page.

We asked one of our consultants to describe the difference they’ve seen hip replacement surgery make in people’s lives. Here’s what they told us:

“Large joint osteoarthritis, and in particular osteoarthritis of the hip, can have a severe impact on individuals – an impact that ranges from limitation of activity levels, to the side-effects of analgesic chronic opiate use and mental health issues, such as depression. Different patients can be affected to a different degree, and one often sees a wide spectrum of symptoms and their effects.

Hip replacement, for the vast majority of patients, brings about reliable, long-term pain relief, with secondary functional gains. Patients have been shown to be healthier and happier following hip replacement, with some studies also reporting a positive impact on life expectancy.” 

Mr Kostas Tsitskaris, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon 

The hip is often described as being a ‘ball and socket’ joint. It is formed by the upper part of the femur (thigh-bone) and the acetabulum (part of your pelvis). The femoral head is the ‘ball’ while the acetabulum is the ‘socket’.

Both parts of the joint have a smooth covering of cartilage known as articular cartilage, which helps the bones to move over one another without any friction. If you have osteoarthritis in your hip, it means that the articular cartilage starts to become worn and damaged, leading to increased friction as the joint is used. This causes pain and stiffness.

As the osteoarthritis progresses and causes ever more damage to the articular cartilage, the femoral head and acetabulum may start rubbing directly against one another. As they grate together, pain and stiffness are severe and often reduce mobility significantly.

Before hip replacement surgery is ever considered, non-operative treatments will usually be used, as these can often successfully manage and relieve the symptoms caused by early-stage osteoarthritis.

Alternative treatments available in London for hip pain and stiffness

Typically, non-operative treatments for stiffness and pain in the hip include:

In the earlier stages of osteoarthritis, these treatments can be very effective at relieving and managing symptoms. Your consultant will ensure you receive the treatment(s) that are the most suitable ones for your specific needs. Regular monitoring means these treatments can be adjusted as needed to ensure your symptoms continue to be managed as well as possible.

While these non-operative treatments can be extremely useful, as the hip joint becomes more damaged by osteoarthritis, they will often become less effective. Eventually, hip replacement surgery may be the only option left to treat the cause of your pain and stiffness adequately.

Many people find that by the time hip replacement surgery becomes an option, they have already decided to have it because their symptoms are having such a limiting, debilitating impact on their daily life.  

When surgery does become an option, your consultant will discuss the operation fully with you, including:

  • How the surgery will be done
  • The benefits you should realistically expect to see from it
  • What to expect your recovery to be like
  • Any risks or possible complications you need to be aware of

Your consultant will be happy to give you their expert opinion, but the final choice as to whether to have hip replacement surgery or not is always yours. There is never any pressure put on you and your consultant will be very happy to talk through any questions or concerns you may have.

People in London who come to us for their hip replacement surgery find this collaborative approach between them and their consultant is incredibly reassuring.

Waiting times for hip replacement surgery in London

Waiting lists for surgery continue to increase in many hospitals. This means that many thousands of people living in London will end up struggling with hip pain and stiffness for many weeks and months before they are eventually able to have their surgery.

With the population in London expected to continue to grow2, this will inevitably have a knock-on effect on these waiting times.

Faced with such long waiting times for hip replacement surgery in London, many people are choosing treatment here at The London Independent Hospital so that they can get back to a better quality of life much more quickly.

Before your surgery, your consultant will use special templating software and current X-rays or scans (MRI or CT) to plan the operation.

The surgery may be carried out using a general anaesthetic (so you are fully asleep) or using a spinal anaesthetic (where your legs and pelvis are numb) and sedation. You will be able to discuss the different options with your anaesthetist beforehand.

Once the surgery begins, a cut is made in the skin above the hip to allow access to the joint. Your surgeon will then carefully remove any remaining articular cartilage from the acetabulum and the head of the femur (the ‘ball’ of the joint) will be fully removed.

An artificial socket is then positioned in the acetabulum. A spike is moved into the femur and a ball placed on top of it to act as the new ‘ball’ of the joint.

Your consultant will then carry out a few specific tests to make sure the new hip is working properly. If any adjustments are needed, these are made and then the skin is closed with sutures and covered with a sterile dressing.

Hip replacement surgery will normally take around an hour and half, but exact timings depend on a range of factors.

When you are considering hip replacement surgery in London, it is important to have an accurate idea of the costs involved. For transparency, you can see the guide prices for all the treatments we offer at The London Independent Hospital on the treatment prices page.

You will always receive written confirmation of the fixed-price fee after your consultation and once any diagnostic tests have been carried out.

If you live in London, we believe you will find no better place to come for hip replacement surgery than The London Independent Hospital. Here are four of the many reasons people choose to have their private hip replacement surgery with us:

  1. Rapid accessWe can arrange a consultation for you with a leading hip surgeon at a time that is convenient for you. Waiting times for hip replacement surgery do vary, but on most occasions, you should expect between two to six weeks from appointment to surgery.
  2. Depth of experience – We carry out many hip replacements and our consultants are highly experienced. With easy access to a multidisciplinary team, including physiotherapists, anaesthetists, nurses and pharmacists, our experienced staff will ensure you receive the help you need throughout your time with us.
  3. Safety – The London Independent Hospital has the advantage of offering a well-run high dependency unit. This means we can cater for people with complex medical comorbidity.
  4. Managed recovery – When you are discharged from the ward, you will be given a number to call if you have any concerns at any time. Our physiotherapy team will help you throughout your recovery and follow-up appointments with your consultant to review your recovery give peace of mind.

If you would like to discuss hip surgery with one of our dedicated consultants, you can book a private consultation at a time that is convenient to you, or call us to speak with a friendly member of our advisory team.



1 Joint replacement statistics, National Joint Registry:

2 London Population,

Specialists offering Hip replacement surgery

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Mr Vivek Gulati

Consultant Orthopaedic Hip & Knee Surgeon

BA(hons) MA MBBChir(Cantab) MRCS MRes Dip(IC) FRCS(Tr&Orth)

The London Independent Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Steven Millington

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

BMed Sci BMBS FRCS (Tr&Orth) PhD

The London Independent Hospital

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Mr Ahsan Sheeraz

Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon


The Saxon Clinic 1 more The London Independent Hospital

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Mr Sammy Hanna

Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon & Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer

MD (Res), MFSTEd, FACS, FRCS (Tr&Orth)

The London Independent Hospital

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Mr Sebastian Dawson-Bowling

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MA, MSc, LLM, FRCS(Tr&Orth)

The London Independent Hospital

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Mr Kostas Tsitskaris

Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon (Hip and Knee)

MD, MSc, FRCS(Tr&Orth)

The London Independent Hospital

View profile Book online

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