Hip replacement (or hip arthroplasty) is a surgery performed to remove a damaged hip joint and replace it with an artificial joint. Your new, artificial hip joint will allow you to bend and move your hip without previous pain levels.
Why It is Performed
Doctors use hip replacements to treat severe hip joint damage from injuries, arthritis or infections.
Your doctor may recommend hip replacement if:
- Hip pain or stiffness limits your daily activities.
- X-rays show severe joint damage.
- You have hip pain even at rest.
- Other treatments, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, joint injections or less invasive surgeries haven’t worked.
What You Should Expect
A hip replacement will begin by a doctor making an incision in your hip, so they can remove the damaged cartilage and bone. They will then replace it with plastic or metal surfaces. In most cases, the surgery is a total hip replacement, although a partial hip replacement may be an option for leg fractures involving the femur head.
You will likely need to spend several days in the hospital, with some people benefitting from time in an acute rehabilitation center. Physical therapy will be part of your recovery, so that you can regain hip function with less pain as quickly as possible. It will probably be 8 to 12 weeks before you’re feeling back to normal, with full recovery taking up to a year.
How Your Everyday Life May Be Different
The vast majority of hip replacements still function well 15 years after surgery, but you can help extend its lifespan by:
- Avoiding contact sports and high-impact activities
- Exercising regularly to strengthen and stabilize your hip
- Learning how to lift heavy weights properly without overloading your joint
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Choose one of the Dignity Health hospitals in the Bay Area network for your hip replacement needs. To learn more about our orthopedic offerings, as well as to get any questions you might have about hip replacements answered, Find a Doctor in your neighborhood.
Dignity Health specializes in orthopedic surgeries, including hip replacements, in and around the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Redwood City.