Hip joint replacement


Hip joint replacement is surgery to replace all or part of the hip joint with a man-made joint. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis.

Alternative Names

Hip arthroplasty; Total hip replacement; Hip hemiarthroplasty; Arthritis - hip replacement; Osteoarthritis - hip replacement


Your hip joint is made up of 2 major parts. One or both parts may be replaced during surgery:

The new hip that replaces the old one is made up of these parts:

You will not feel any pain during surgery. You will have 1 of 2 types of anesthesia:

After you receive anesthesia, your surgeon will make a surgical cut to open up your hip joint. This cut is often over the buttocks. Then your surgeon will:

This surgery takes about 1 to 3 hours.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

The most common reason to have this surgery is to relieve arthritis. Severe arthritis pain can limit your activities.

Most of the time, hip joint replacement is done in people age 60 and older. Many people who have this surgery are younger. Younger people who have a hip replaced may put extra stress on the artificial hip. That extra stress can cause it to wear out earlier than in older people. Part or all of the joint may need to be replaced again if that happens.

Your doctor may recommend a hip replacement for these problems:

Other reasons for replacing the hip joint are:

Before the Procedure

Always tell your provider what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.

During the 2 weeks before your surgery:

Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or wheelchair correctly to:

On the day of your surgery:

Your provider will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

After the Procedure

You will stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days. During that time you will recover from your anesthesia, and from the surgery itself. You will be asked to start moving and walking as soon as the first day after surgery.

Some people need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home. At a rehab center, you will learn how to safely do your daily activities on your own. Home health services are also available.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Hip replacement surgery results are often excellent. Most or all of your pain and stiffness should go away.

Some people may have problems with infection, loosening, or even dislocation of the new hip joint.

Over time, the artificial hip joint can loosen. This can happen after as long as 15 to 20 years. You may need a second replacement.

Younger, more active people may wear out parts of their new hip. It may need to be replaced before the artificial hip loosens.


Cabrera JA, Cabrera AL. Total hip replacement. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 61.

Foran JRH. OrthoInfo: total hip replacement. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Updated August 2015. orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00377. Accessed May 9, 2016.

Harkess JW, Crockarell JR. Arthroplasty of the hip. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 3.

Preventing venous thromboembolic disease in patients undergoing elective hip and knee arthopolasty: Evidence-based guideline and evidence report. American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2011. www.aaos.org/research/guidelines/VTE/VTE_full_guideline.pdf.

Svege I, Nordsletten L, Fernandes L, Risberg MA. Exercise therapy may postpone total hip replacement surgery in patients with hip osteoarthritis: a long-term follow-up of a randomised trial. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015;74(1):164-9. PMID: 24255546 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24255546.

Review Date: 4/17/2016
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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