The hip is one of the biggest working joints of the body. Hip problems can seriously impact your entire body and your ability to perform normal activities.
When the joint is severely damaged due to arthritis or other problems, hip replacement surgery may be recommended. Each year, more than 168,000 Americans undergo hip replacement surgery. This procedure can relieve pain caused by the hip problem, allowing you to live a fuller, more active life.
Orthopedic surgeons at UCSF Health have expertise in joint replacement surgery, called arthroplasty, of the hip, knee and shoulder. In addition, our team includes physician's assistants, nurses and physical therapists who are specially trained in caring for joint replacement patients. The team provides comprehensive management of arthritis in these joints, including total joint replacement, and offers the latest advancements in joint replacement surgery, including minimally invasive surgical techniques, computer assisted surgery and advanced implant options.
In total hip replacement surgery, the damaged ball and socket are removed and replaced with a new set that is made of metal and a durable plastic material. These artificial parts are called implants or prostheses. There are three different types of prostheses: cemented, uncemented and custom. Based on your age, activity level, bone shape, size and strength, your orthopedic surgeon will decide which type is best for you. This will be discussed with you at your pre-operative visit.
Before an operation is scheduled, you'll complete a physical exam and tests to rule out any health conditions that might interfere with the procedure.
Two to three weeks before your date of surgery, you will have an appointment at the Prepare Clinic to review the preparation process.
To learn more, please visit Preparing for Hip Replacement.
Please arrive at the hospital two hours before the start of your surgery to allow time for the admissions process and to meet with an anesthesiologist.
After you're admitted to the hospital, you'll go to the pre-operative area where you will be evaluated by an anesthesiologist. General anesthesia, the most common type of anesthesia, is administered intravenously to keep you in a "sleep" or unconscious state during the entire surgery.
Your anesthesiologist also may discuss the option of an epidural or spinal injection to block pain. You will discuss this with your anesthesiologist before your surgery.
Our experts are trained in computer-assisted orthopedic surgery, which uses special cameras and imaging tools to project images of the operative area onto a television screen. On-screen prompts help guide surgeons to the ideal alignment of the implant and provide real-time views of the surgical site.
The surgery usually takes two to four hours, although this depends on the severity of the arthritis or condition of your hip. In the operating room, a urinary catheter will be inserted and left in place for one or two days. Compression stockings will be put on both of your legs.
The day after surgery, a physical therapist will teach you specific exercises to regain full hip movement. During your hospital stay, you will work with a physical therapist once or twice a day.
An occupational therapist and nurse discharge planner will help you prepare for your discharge from the hospital. After you return home, you will work with a physical therapist three to four times a week.
The length of stay in the hospital will vary, depending on the type of surgery you have.
- If you have minimally invasive, two-incision hip surgery, your hospital stay will be at least one day.
- If you have a primary total hip replacement, your hospital stay may be three days.
- If you have revision hip replacement to replace a worn out hip implant, your hospital stay may be four to five days.
To learn more, please visit Recovering from Hip Replacement.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.