What You Need To Know About Hip Replacement Surgery

June 21, 2022 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team

Hip replacement surgery, or hip arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which an orthopedic surgeon removes the diseased parts of the hip joint and replaces them with new, artificial parts. These artificial parts mimic the function of the normal hip joint, helping to alleviate pain and restore to quality of life for the patient. Hip replacement surgery is usually needed to repair damage to the hip joint from:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Injuries or fractures from trauma or disease.

If you have difficulty performing simple activities such as walking or getting in and out of a chair due to hip pain, you may be a good candidate for hip replacement surgery. More than 95% of hip replacements are successful with patients experiencing relief from pain.


An overview of hip replacement surgery: 

The hip has a ball on the upper leg bone (femur) and a socket (acetabulum) on the pelvis. The ends of the bone are covered by articular cartilage, a white slippery material. This cartilage can become damaged over time – often the result of arthritis. As the cartilage breaks down over time, the underlying bone is exposed. This creates a rougher surface and exposes the nerves in the bone causing the joint to become painful.

Hip replacement consists of resurfacing the ends of each bone with smooth metal or plastic. This provides a smooth surface for movement and insulates the nerves to minimize pain. The Joint replacement is called “total” when both bones are resurfaced. This is in contrast to a “partial” replacement where some of the joint surfaces are not resurfaced.

There are four pieces in a new hip implant: a stem which fits into the thigh bone, a ball on the end of the stem, a shell that fits into the pelvis and a liner that snaps into the shell. Ultimately, the goals of hip replacement are to improve mobility, improve overall joint function, and reduce pain from a diseased or damaged joint.

You and your surgeon will decide whether the surgery will be done at an outpatient surgery center, or in a hospital. This depends on your medical condition and other factors. Hip replacement surgery only takes about 1.5 hours and you may go home that day or the next morning.


What to expect during hip replacement surgery:

  • You will receive anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable and pain free throughout the entire procedure. Your health history and medication regime will determine which type of anesthesia you receive.
  • An incision is made over your hip. The surgeon will typically try to use the smallest incision possible to limit the amount of injury to soft tissue and bone.
  • The surgeon will remove the damaged or diseased bone tissue and cartilage from the hip joint and implant the new, artificial parts.
  • Your incision will be closed and you will be moved to the recovery room.


Most hip replacement patients are surprised to learn that they will be able to walk within the same day or next day of surgery; and most can resume normal routine activities within the first 3 to 6 weeks of their total hip replacement recovery.




If your injury or condition is recent, you can visit one of our Orthopaedic Urgent Care locations for immediate assistance. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is necessary to see one of our certified physical therapists.

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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.