Hip replacement

Hip replacement is one of the treatments for severe arthritis of the hip. The aim of replacing your hip joint is to stop your hip hurting and help you move more easily.

The hips are very important for walking, bending and being able to move freely. The hip joint is a type of joint called a ball-and-socket joint which allows us to flex, rotate, extend and move our leg in all directions. The  top of the thigh bone (the femur) is shaped like a round ball and fits into a round socket in the pelvis bones.

During a hip replacement operation, a surgeon removes parts of the bones that make up your hip joint and replaces them with artificial hip parts. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis.

As with any operation, there are pros and cons, risks and possible complications. It is important to read up, ask questions and be fully informed about what to expect before deciding whether having a hip replacement is right for you. What a surgeon sees as a 'good result' is not always the same as what you may be hoping for.

Video: Doctor Mike Evans explaining hip & knee replacement

When you go to see a doctor or specialist, have some questions ready such as:

  • What are the treatment options for me?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each for me?  (given my age and health)
  • Do I want to have an operation?
  • What is involved? How many days will I be in hospital, how much time will I need to recover or get back to work?
  • What are the risks?
  • Are there alternatives?
  • What can I expect to be able to do, by when?
  • What are the risks involved?
  • What is the success rate for this procedure?
  • More question ideas - visit OrthoInfo 

Deciding whether to have a hip replacement is a big decision and worth some extra time and thought.

The following tool, called What are my options for managing my hip or knee osteoarthritis? may help you work through the key questions and balance this with your personal thoughts and preferences.

Learn more

Total Hip and Knee Replacement Bay of Plenty DHB
Hip replacement
 NHS Choices, UK
OrthoInfo American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Questions & answers about hip replacement National Institute of Arthritis and Musculosketal and Skin disease

Credits: Health Navigator team.