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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. If you have concerns be sure and ask your surgeon about his prosthesis choice and the reasons behind it
    Both cemented and uncemented replacements are used at Nuffield Health Hospitals
    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 and you will have a large dressing covering your wound. 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. After you’ve recovered from the effects of the anaesthetic, you can start to do a number of things; you can have something to eat or drink, we may encourage you to move your legs if you are able and you may have some deep breathing exercises to do, to help prevent any chest problems after surgery. 

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 may wear boots on your legs that are inflated with air and you may also wear support stockings to help your circulation. Daily injections or tablets to help prevent blood clotting that may continue for up to 6 weeks may also be advised.

The day after surgery you will have an X-ray of your new hip to check its position. Try not to touch or disturb your dressings as this can introduce infection, and if you notice any bleeding or have any pain, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our nurses

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 as a member of our team will be there to help you, whenever you are ready. Getting you moving is to improve your circulation and avoid stiffness and once out of bed, you will continue to wear support stockings to help your circulation. You may be feeling tender and sore, but you can get pain relief medication to deal with any discomfort and to help you further, 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

At Nuffield Health we like to fully make sure you are ready to go home. We assess your condition and we believe that when you are able to walk up and down stairs, you can go home. Before leaving, you may need to have your stitches removed, then because you are still recovering you won’t be able to drive, so you will need someone to come and take you home from the hospital and you may have to still use crutches or a walker.

After your operation we also like to make sure you have everything you need to recover and in time it’s usual to also return to see your Nuffield Health consultant as an outpatient after your operation.

    Our physiotherapist will give you some exercises to help get your new hip moving. It’s important to gradually increase your physical activity each day, so you should undertake the exercises the physiotherapist shows you. These will help to reduce stiffness and strengthen your legs and help you regain mobility.
    You’ll be given information about appointments before you are discharged.
    Pain relief medication provided to take with you. 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 and 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 and leg length difference.

Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624 488
Overall rating Good

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavy Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SY

01242 246 552
Overall rating Good

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 276 591
Overall rating Good

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

0141 334 9441

Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555 800
Overall rating Good
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

0113 388 2111
Overall rating Outstanding

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

0116 276 9401
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

01912 816 131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 382551
Overall rating Good

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775 861
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Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282 500
Overall rating Good

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286 991
Overall rating Good

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 360 100
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531 111
Overall rating Good

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 427971
Overall rating Good

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

01483 227800
Overall rating Good

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 793 269
Overall rating Good

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715 000
Overall rating Good

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