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Hip surgery

Hip surgery can help give you back movement that's free of pain and stiffness

Of all the operations most of us hear about, a hip replacement is right up there at the top. It's no wonder really since the hip is pivotal (literally) for our ability to stand up, sit down, and generally move about.

Which means, over time, the wear and tear on our hip joints is bound to start playing up one way or another. Of course, not everyone is affected by it, but if you've ever felt any pain in the hip region when doing any activities involving walking, getting up, or sitting down, there's a fair chance it has something to do with the ball and socket joint where our thigh bone (the femur) meets the hip.

According to the National Institute for Health Care (NIHC) there were 96,717 hip replacements in 2017, and the National Joint Registry (NJR) shows this had increased to 128,274 in 2020.

Nearly half of all hip replacements were performed at private hospitals, and here at Three Shires Hospital, a private hospital in Northampton, we have an extremely high patient satisfaction record for complete hip replacement.

Whether you've been referred to us by your GP or medical health insurance company, we will be in contact with you to arrange an initial consultation with our specialist team to assess your needs and the condition of your hip and advise you on the best course of treatment. You can also book direct with an orthopaedic surgeon via our website.

The typical maximum waiting time from diagnosis to the completion of a full hip replacement operation is 6 weeks. To find out more (including self-funding options), please call reception on 01604 801007 and ask for our private patient liaison officer who will be happy to help. 

Of all the diseases we see, perhaps the most common and most debilitating is osteoarthritis (it's the most common form of arthritis in the world). This degenerative disease is usually the result of long-term wear and tear on our joints, but can also be caused by trauma or accidental damage to a joint, although it can take years before that damage shows up as arthritis.

Playing physical sports such as rugby, football and tennis, or exercising excessively can also cause injury to our joints, which can then lead to osteoarthritis in later life, and when that activity involves stress on our hip joints, the effect on our quality of life becomes obvious.

Obesity can also be a cause due to the extra pressure exerted on the hip. It can run in families too, and it tends to affect women more than men. It can also be triggered as a secondary effect of other diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (an immune disease that affects joints and produces similar symptoms). 

Obviously by far the most common symptom (and the one that eventually drives us to our GP) is pain when trying to live our everyday lives.

The pain comes from the damaged cartilage in our hips as we try to move. It varies in terms of the degree of discomfort we feel from barely noticeable to extreme pain.

As the inflammation or swelling increases, so the bone and cartilage is likely to become more damaged creating further inflammation, and at a certain point as the disease advances, walking and undisturbed sleep can become very difficult.

As the cartilage between the femur and the hip breaks down further, bony growths can also appear on the bone causing even more stiffness and pain.

This is why it's important you see a specialist as soon as possible so a proper diagnosis can be made, and if it turns out to be osteoarthritis, a good treatment regime can be put in place. 

If osteoarthritis is caught early enough, lifestyle changes including diet, medicines, and physiotherapy can be used to alleviate many of the symptoms, and for some the arthritis may be held in check and not progress much further.

Also, arthritis can come and go sporadically flaring up then dying down again. However, for most people who are referred by their GP and for those who have sought help directly, the pain has become unbearable, and so different remedies are necessary. 

Corticosteroid injections work by helping to reduce inflammation caused by damage to the cartilage in the hip joint, which helps relieve the pain and over time, allows the joint more movement again.

As the area affected is quite deep under the skin, a dye is injected and an Xray taken to ensure the steroid is placed at the exact point needed. It is slightly uncomfortable and sometimes a local anaesthetic is required, but either way, the patient is free to go home a short time after the procedure is completed. 

If pain relief, gels, rubs, physiotherapy, and corticosteroid injections have failed to give any relief and you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night or can't walk a significant distance due to arthritic hip pain, or maybe you’re just having a miserable time and the damage has gone too far for any of the less invasive treatments to work, then hip replacement surgery will be the only option left to consider.

Osteoarthritis concerns cartilage damage on the surface of joints so an Xray is used to identify the problem to ensure a proper diagnosis can be made. This, together with obtaining the patient's history and current state of health determines whether a hip replacement is suitable, necessary, or even recommended.

Some replacement hip joints are cemented in, others are inserted without cement via a press fit technique tailored to the individual patient. This allows the existing bone to grow into the implant, increasing the integration with the bone.

The replacement ball and cup joint can consist of metal against plastic, ceramic against plastic, or any number of different combinations of the three and this together with the choice of a cemented or press fit replacement along with details of your anatomy and age will be discussed in detail with you so you can make the choice that suits you best. 

After a hip replacement, the patient will usually be able to walk again the same or following day, and manage stairs within 36 hours. The pain is much better after a couple of weeks (which is fairly fast when compared with, say, knee surgery, which can take 4 to 6 weeks for the pain to be bearable).

Your consultant will stay in touch with you for further checkups to ensure everything is okay and working as expected. You will also receive physiotherapeutic help and advice during your stay in hospital and afterwards with your recovery as part of your after care. 

For most operations you will stay for 2 nights, but for some, it may be necessary to stay a little longer or even a little less, depending on how well you are doing in your recovery. For all overnight stays you will be well taken care of in one of our 49 private rooms with full en-suite facilities and 24-hour medical care. 

If you'd like to find out more about having a hip replacement at Three Shires Hospital or you want to book an appointment directly with a consultant, please do call us on 01604 620311

Specialists offering Hip surgery

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Mr Gary Mundy

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBChB, FRCS (Tr+Orth) FRCS, FRCSEd, FRCSGlasg, Diploma Sports Medicine

Three Shires Hospital

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Mr Simon West

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MB BCh, FRCS (Edin), FRCS (Tr & Orth)

Three Shires Hospital

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Mr Divyang Shukla

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, MS (Orth), DNB (Orth), MCh (Orth), FRCS, FRCS (Trauma and Orth), Fellow of European Board of Trauma and Orthopaedics

Three Shires Hospital

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Mr Jon Campion

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS BMedSci FRCS (Trauma & Orthopaedics)

Three Shires Hospital

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Mr David Stock

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


Three Shires Hospital

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Mr Odei Shannak

Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, FRCS (Trauma and Orthopaedics)

Three Shires Hospital

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