Hip replacement surgery is similar to having most things fixed—worn
parts are taken out, and new parts are installed in their places. In
hip surgery, the damaged portions of your hip are removed and replaced
with metal and plastic implants.
Hip surgery usually takes two to four hours, although this is
dependent upon the severity of the arthritis in your hip. Here's what
you can expect on a typical day of hip surgery:
- You should arrive at the hospital at least two hours before
your scheduled surgery. The nurses will complete your preparation
for surgery and will likely review your care following surgery.
- A small tube (intravenous line) is inserted into your arm. This
tube is used to administer antibiotics and other medication during
- You're taken to the operating room and given
- In the operating room, a urinary catheter is
inserted and will be left in place for one or two days.
- Compression stockings and pneumatic sleeves are put on both
- The procedure begins with an incision over the side
of your hip.
- The ball end of your thighbone (femur) is cut
and replaced with the new metal ball-and-stem component. It may be
stabilized with or without cement.
- The damaged surface of
the socket is smoothed in preparation for the insertion of the new
- The ball and socket are joined.
- When the
surgeon is satisfied with the fit and function, the incision is
cleaned and covered with dressings.
- Small drainage tubes
are inserted into your hip to drain fluids that naturally develop at
the surgical site.
- You're taken to the recovery room,
where you will be closely monitored.
- Anesthesia wears off,
and you slowly regain consciousness. A nurse is with you and may
encourage you to cough or breathe deeply to help clear your lungs.
- You're given pain medication.
- A foam wedge or
pillows are placed between your legs to help hold your hip joint in
- You are fully awake and are taken to your hospital