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Why might I need a hip replacement?

Over time, the surfaces on the hip joint can start to wear. This can be caused by osteoarthritis or a previous injury to the hip.

Osteoarthritis is painful as joints become stiff and inflamed when the smooth lining between the joints gets damaged or wears away. Without the protection of this lining, the rough surfaces of your bones rub together as you move, causing the pain that is all too common to sufferers.

Simple, everyday things like going for a walk or even getting dressed become difficult. There’s no cure for osteoarthritis and it can get worse with time. However, joints can be replaced successfully, improving mobility and reducing pain. 

What happens during hip replacement?

  • A variety of anaesthetic techniques can be used. Prior to your operation the anaesthetist will discuss these options with you
  • Your surgeon’s choice of prosthesis will be based on several factors such as your age, your level of activity and your current condition
  • Both cemented and uncemented replacements are used at Nuffield Health Hospitals
  • If you have concerns be sure and ask your surgeon about his prosthesis choice and the reasons behind it
  • Your surgical wound will be closed with stitches, staples or steri-strips.

After your hip replacement surgery

  • Once your hip operation is over, you’ll be taken to the recovery room where you will wake from the anaesthetic
  • Your wound, blood pressure and pulse will be checked carefully
  • You will have a large dressing covering your wound
  • Be sure to let our nurses know if you are in any pain
  • You may have a small tube coming out of your wound, this is to drain away any excess fluid from the inside of the wound
  • You may also have a drip (infusion) going into your arm. This will keep you hydrated until you are able to drink, and it can also be used to give you pain relief
  • When you are stable and comfortable, a nurse will take you back to your room.

Back in your room

  • Once back in your room, our nursing team will continue to check on you to make sure you are recovering well
  • Try not to touch or disturb your dressings as this can introduce infection
  • If you notice any bleeding or have any pain, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our nurses
  • After you’ve recovered from the effects of the anaesthetic, you can have something to eat and drink
  • While you are in bed, you may have help with the circulation in your legs, in order to prevent blood clots (DVT)
  • The first day or so you could wear boots on your legs that are inflated with air
  • You will also wear support stockings to help your circulation and may have daily injections or tablets to help prevent blood clotting that may continue for up to 6 weeks
  • We may encourage you to move your legs if you are able
  • You may have some deep breathing exercises to do, to help prevent any chest problems after surgery
  • The day after surgery you will have an X-ray of your new hip to check its position
  • Don’t forget to wash your hands with soap after going to the toilet at any time.

Getting up for the first time

  • We understand that you may be anxious or worried about getting up, but we will do all we can to help and reassure you
  • Don’t worry, a member of our team will be there to help you, whenever you are ready
  • The reason for getting you moving is to improve your circulation and avoid stiffness
  • You may be feeling tender and sore, but you can get pain relief medication to deal with any discomfort
  • Once out of bed, you will continue to wear support stockings to help your circulation
  • Physiotherapists will work with you during your stay to help give you the best start with your new joint.

Going home after a hip replacement

  • A physiotherapist will give you some exercises to help get your new hip moving and these are important to help you make a good recovery
  • You may have to use crutches or a walker
  • When you are able to walk up and down stairs, you can go home
  • You won’t be able to drive, so you will need someone to come and take you home from the hospital
  • It’s usual to return to see your Nuffield Health consultant as an outpatient after your operation
  • You may also need to have stitches removed
  • You’ll be given information about these appointments before you are discharged
  • We’ll also give you some pain relief medication to take with you
  • When you get home, will be tired and should rest. However, it’s also important to gradually increase your physical activity each day, so you should continue with the exercises the physiotherapist showed you
  • These will help to reduce stiffness and strengthen your legs
  • To help you regain mobility, it’s recommended that you take any pain relief medication we have prescribed
  • Continue taking this until you are pain free.

So you don’t damage your new hip and to help your wound heal, you may be asked to follow a few restrictions for the first six weeks of your recovery:

  • Avoid bending your new hip beyond 90 degrees
  • Avoid rolling your leg towards the other leg
  • Avoid crossing your legs
  • Avoid twisting on your new hip when standing
  • Use the shower instead of the bath
  • Keep wearing your support stockings - you may have to do so for four to six weeks.

Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following hip revision. As with any surgery there can be complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (incision)
  • Scarring
  • Blood clots (DVT - deep vein thrombosis)
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Chest infection
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke.

Specific complications of hip replacement might include:

  • Split in the femur
  • Nerve damage around the hip
  • Damage to the blood vessels around the hip
  • Infection in the hip
  • Loosening of the replacement
  • Bone forming in muscles around the replacement
  • Dislocation
  • Leg length difference.
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment

67 Lansdowne Road
Bournemouth
BH1 1RW

01202 291866

Shenfield Road
Brentwood
CM15 8EH

01277 695695

Warren Road
Brighton
BN2 6DX

01273 624488

3 Clifton Hill
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870

4 Trumpington Road
Cambridge
CB2 8AF

01223 303336

Cardiff Bay Hospital
Dunleavey Drive
Cardiff
CF11 0SN

02920 836700

Hatherley Lane
Cheltenham
GL51 6SY

01242 246552

Wrexham Road
Chester
CH4 7QP

01244 680 444

78 Broyle Road
Chichester
PO19 6WB

01243 530600

Rykneld Road
Derby
DE23 4SN

01332 540100

Wonford Road
Exeter
EX2 4UG

01392 262110

25 Beaconsfield Road
Glasgow
G12 0PJ

01413349441

Stirling Road
Guildford
GU2 7RF

01483 555805

Burrell Road
Haywards Heath
RH16 1UD

01444 456999

Venns Lane
Hereford
HR1 1DF

01432 355 131

Foxhall Road
Ipswich
IP4 5SW

01473 279100

2 Leighton Street
Leeds
LS1 3EB

01133 882 067

Scraptoft Lane
Leicester
LE5 1HY

0116 2769 401

Clayton Road
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131

Clayton Road
Newcastle-under-Lyme
ST5 4DB

01782 625431

Beech Road
Headington
Oxford
OX3 7RP

01865 307777

Derriford Road
Plymouth
PL6 8BG

01752 775861

Longden Road
Shrewsbury
SY3 9DP

01743 282628

Staplegrove Elm
Taunton
TA2 6AN

01823 286991

Junction Road
Norton
Stockton on Tees
TS20 1PX

01642 367439

Kingswood Road
Tunbridge Wells
TN2 4UL

01892 531111

The Chase
Old Milverton Lane
Leamington Spa
CV32 6RW

01926 436351

Winchester Road
Chandlers Ford
Eastleigh
SO53 2DW

02380 266 377

Shores Road
Woking
GU21 4BY

01483 227800

Wood Road
Tettenhall
Wolverhampton
WV6 8LE

01902 754 177

Haxby Road
York
YO31 8TA

01904 715000

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