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Hip replacement FAQs

If you're considering hip replacement surgery and want to learn more, you're in the right place. Mr Nadim Aslam, consultant orthopaedic and knee surgeon at The Priory Hospital, responds to our frequently asked questions about hip replacement surgery, including how long you can expect your replacement to last, the cost of a hip replacement and what the procedure involves. 

Mr Nadim Aslam: In most cases, modern day hip replacements should last for at least 15 to 20 years. Although the materials that are used to build modern hip replacements have improved, the longevity of these replacements is dependent on your age and how active you are.

Mr Nadim Aslam: During a total hip replacement procedure, an incision is made to access your hip and thigh bone. The damaged femoral head is removed and replaced with a metallic head and metal stem that attaches to the rest of your thigh bone.

The damaged bone and cartilage within the socket of your hip bone are also removed and replaced with a metal shell that has a liner. After these damaged parts have been placed, the new femoral head will be able to move inside this new, smooth socket in your hip bone.

Mr Nadim Aslam: A hip replacement operation usually takes between 60 to 90 minutes.

Mr Nadim Aslam: Hip replacements can be performed under regional anaesthesia. In most cases, this would involve a spinal anaesthetic, which provides better control over any pain and reduces your risk of experiencing respiratory problems and thrombosis.

Mr Nadim Aslam: A package deal which includes the cost of surgery, the prosthesis used, anaesthesia, and three days of hospital stay and medication, can vary between £12,000 to £15,000.

The average cost of hip replacement surgery is around £12,500.

Mr Nadim Aslam: Titanium is the name given to the material that is used to make the hip socket or hip stem. It is a commonly used material as its properties help the prosthetic's components bond to your bone.

Mr Nadim Aslam: A posterior hip replacement is a procedure carried out using the posterior approach. The name represents the approach your surgeon takes to access your hip joint.

The posterior approach means your surgeon accesses your hip joint from the back of your hip instead of the front (anterior approach), or the side (lateral approach).

Mr Nadim Aslam: A minimally invasive hip replacement is a surgical technique that is used to perform a hip replacement. It uses a smaller incision, which means there is less tissue damage and trauma. The aim of this procedure is to minimise trauma to your surrounding muscles, conserve bone, and improve the rate of your recovery. 

Mr Nadim Aslam: During the first six weeks after your surgery, we would advise that you do not bend your legs in an angle more than 90 degrees. If you need to pick up an object, you can place your leg out behind you to avoid excessive hip flexion. 

Mr Nadim Aslam: We would advise being careful due to the risk of dislocation. The stiffness of your hip will determine how flexible you are, but after six weeks, it might be possible to do this in a controlled and safe way.

Mr Nadim Aslam: We would allow you to walk immediately after a hip replacement. 

During the first two to four weeks of your recovery period, you should be limited to shorter distances. This is due to any tiredness that you might experience from walking, rather than restrictions caused by the hip implant itself.

After four to six weeks, you can gradually increase how long you walk for.  

Mr Nadim Aslam: Hip replacements should allow you to run. However, impact loading or running on a hard surface can increase the wear rate of your hip. For high-impact contact sports, you should wait for around six weeks until you get back into the game.

We allow leisure activities such as tennis, swimming, golf, and increased gym exercise from six weeks after your hip replacement surgery.

Mr Nadim Aslam: We would recommend resuming sexual activity after four to six weeks following your procedure.  

Mr Nadim Aslam: If you wish to go skiing, we recommend waiting six weeks.

It is best to avoid jumping activities and to start skiing with a phased return.

Mr Nadim Aslam: We would advise going back to driving from four to six weeks. The legal requirement for driving means you will need to be able to perform an emergency stop.

If you have a left hip replacement and drive an automatic vehicle, you could return to driving earlier, at around four weeks. However, medications such as opioids could delay how soon you can go back to driving.

Mr Nadim Aslam: Hip replacements are associated with a risk of thrombosis in the lower limbs.

As a result, we advise not attending any short haul flights (less than four hours) for two to three months, and long haul flights (more than eight hours) for six months due to the increase risk of thrombosis.

If you do attend a flight within the first six months of your surgery, we advise wearing stockings, doing calf exercises, and taking anticoagulants beforehand. 

Mr Nadim Aslam: As with any surgery, the procedure does carry some risks. There is a possible risk of infection, bleeding, blood clots, and injury to your nearby nerves after surgery.

It is possible to also experience a loosening or dislocation of the hip joint, which requires revision surgery.

Specialists offering Hip replacement FAQs

Mr Jeya Palan

Orthopaedic Consultant Surgeon

BSc (Hons), MB BS, PhD, FRCS (Tr & Orth)

The Huddersfield Hospital

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Mr Robert Metcalf

Orthopaedic Surgeon

MB ChB ; FRCS (Tr. and Ortho) ; FRCS (Eng)

The Huddersfield Hospital

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