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Hip Replacement

Get back to doing the things you love without pain

If you are experiencing hip pain and limited movement, it can be hard to do the things you enjoy. Hip replacement surgery can be life-changing and help you regain natural movement.

Hip replacement is an elective procedure that restores function of the hip joint and relieves pain. Every year, more than one million Americans return to their lives, pain free, due to total joint replacement surgery.

If you've noticed changes in your daily life—a struggle to tie shoes, trouble getting up and down—hip replacement could be an option to help you get your quality of life back.

Who Benefits from Total Hip Replacement

There are many possible causes behind hip pain. People who experience the most dramatic benefits from total hip replacement are those experiencing hip pain due to:

Most people who have hip replacement surgery regain movement and experience lasting pain relief as a result. Hip replacement surgery may not be the right option if your pain is due to nerve damage or if you're experiencing loss of motion but not experiencing hip pain.

Overview

If you are experiencing hip pain and limited movement, it can be hard to do the things you enjoy. Hip replacement surgery can be life-changing and help you regain natural movement.

Hip replacement is an elective procedure that restores function of the hip joint and relieves pain. Every year, more than one million Americans return to their lives, pain free, due to total joint replacement surgery.

If you've noticed changes in your daily life—a struggle to tie shoes, trouble getting up and down—hip replacement could be an option to help you get your quality of life back.

Who Benefits from Total Hip Replacement

There are many possible causes behind hip pain. People who experience the most dramatic benefits from total hip replacement are those experiencing hip pain due to:

Most people who have hip replacement surgery regain movement and experience lasting pain relief as a result. Hip replacement surgery may not be the right option if your pain is due to nerve damage or if you're experiencing loss of motion but not experiencing hip pain.

Joint replacement surgery has been performed for many years and has the potential to dramatically improve quality of life for many people. In 95% of cases, a new hip joint will last 20 years or longer.

Joint replacement is a major surgery. It does have some risks. It is important that you know of possible risks and complications of joint replacement surgery and discuss them with your surgeon.

Deciding on Hip Replacement

Your hip may be damaged from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bone loss (avascular necrosis), bone tumor or injury. No matter the cause of the damage—and your pain—you are ready to feel better.

The first step in considering hip replacement surgery is imaging. X-rays show your doctor exactly what’s going on with your hip joint. After examining you and viewing your images, your doctor can recommend if surgery is a good option. 

If you decide hip replacement is right for you, your surgery is scheduled for a time that works well for you and when you have friends or family who can help you after surgery. You also attend a pre-surgery joint replacement class to learn what to expect from before, during and after your surgery.

Non-Operative Treatments

As with any elective surgery, you should explore non-operative alternatives before making a decision. For hip pain, you should consider the following:

  • Exercise/Conditioning
  • Medication, including Tylenol and anti-inflammatories, such as Advil or Motrin
  • Injections, including steroid and Synvisc and Hyalgan
  • Bracing
  • Acupuncture
  • Weight loss
  • Activity modification

In many cases, one or a combination of these treatments can delay or prevent the need for hip replacement surgery. If you've tried the non-operative treatments above and you still have hip pain, your doctor may suggest hip replacement surgery.

Am I Too Young for Hip Replacement?

In the past, hip replacement was reserved for people older than 60. Technology has improved and, today, younger people can have hip replacement, remain active and expect the joint to last a long time. Your doctor will discuss with you how active you plan to be, your overall health and the expected success of your hip replacement.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Your thigh bone (femur) has a ball on the end at the pelvis. This ball (acetabulum) fits into a socket in the hip bone. The ball-and-socket configuration permits you to move – sit, stand, walk and do other activities.

During hip replacement, your surgeon removes diseased bone and cartilage from the hip joint. The surgeon replaces the ball and socket with artificial parts made from materials that allow your hip joint to glide naturally.

You can expect hip replacement surgery to last one to two hours. Your surgeon may use a special cement to bond the new hip parts to your healthy bone. If cement isn’t used, the artificial parts of your new joint grow together with your existing bone. You’re more likely to have a non-cemented procedure if you’re younger and healthier.

What to Expect From Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery has been performed for many years and has the potential to dramatically improve quality of life for many people. In 95% of cases, a new hip joint will last 20 years or longer.

Joint replacement is a major surgery. It does have some risks. It is important that you know of possible risks and complications of joint replacement surgery and discuss them with your surgeon.

Deciding on Hip Replacement

Your hip may be damaged from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bone loss (avascular necrosis), bone tumor or injury. No matter the cause of the damage—and your pain—you are ready to feel better.

The first step in considering hip replacement surgery is imaging. X-rays show your doctor exactly what’s going on with your hip joint. After examining you and viewing your images, your doctor can recommend if surgery is a good option. 

If you decide hip replacement is right for you, your surgery is scheduled for a time that works well for you and when you have friends or family who can help you after surgery. You also attend a pre-surgery joint replacement class to learn what to expect from before, during and after your surgery.

Non-Operative Treatments

As with any elective surgery, you should explore non-operative alternatives before making a decision. For hip pain, you should consider the following:

  • Exercise/Conditioning
  • Medication, including Tylenol and anti-inflammatories, such as Advil or Motrin
  • Injections, including steroid and Synvisc and Hyalgan
  • Bracing
  • Acupuncture
  • Weight loss
  • Activity modification

In many cases, one or a combination of these treatments can delay or prevent the need for hip replacement surgery. If you've tried the non-operative treatments above and you still have hip pain, your doctor may suggest hip replacement surgery.

Am I Too Young for Hip Replacement?

In the past, hip replacement was reserved for people older than 60. Technology has improved and, today, younger people can have hip replacement, remain active and expect the joint to last a long time. Your doctor will discuss with you how active you plan to be, your overall health and the expected success of your hip replacement.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Your thigh bone (femur) has a ball on the end at the pelvis. This ball (acetabulum) fits into a socket in the hip bone. The ball-and-socket configuration permits you to move – sit, stand, walk and do other activities.

During hip replacement, your surgeon removes diseased bone and cartilage from the hip joint. The surgeon replaces the ball and socket with artificial parts made from materials that allow your hip joint to glide naturally.

You can expect hip replacement surgery to last one to two hours. Your surgeon may use a special cement to bond the new hip parts to your healthy bone. If cement isn’t used, the artificial parts of your new joint grow together with your existing bone. You’re more likely to have a non-cemented procedure if you’re younger and healthier.

Watch: Hip Replacement What to Expect

Before your hip replacement surgery, you will be evaluated to make sure you're healthy enough for surgery. This could include blood tests and occasionally a chest X-ray. Your doctor will tell you which medications to stop taking right before surgery, rules about eating and drinking before surgery, and any other steps you need to take to prepare for hip replacement surgery.

Hip replacement is a major surgery, and you will need help around the house until you get your mobility back. Your doctor will provide a list of steps to take in advance to make your recovery easier, including things like:

  • Having caregivers available to help you
  • Stocking up on prepared meals and groceries
  • Having items you use a lot within easy reach
  • Removing rugs, furniture, cords and obstacles that could cause you to trip
  • Planning a way to wash or bathe
  • Installing a raised toilet seat

Your doctor will also tell you if you need to get crutches or a walker in advance and what to bring to the hospital.

Why Choose IU Health for Your Hip Replacement

Due to our relationship with Indiana University School of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country, you receive the latest treatments and benefits of research and experience. Orthopedic surgeons at IU Health perform more than 3,300 joint replacements each year.

We are home to the only hospital in the United States that ranks in the Top 10 for both length of stay and readmission, two industry-wide measures of success. Learn more about the IU Health Hip & Knee Center.

Your Healthcare Team

Your healthcare team has special training in orthopedics. They will help you through your surgery. Here are some of the members of your team:

You are the most important member of your healthcare team. Your input will be important during your stay and you will be involved in all aspects of your care. Your support person — a loved one, friend or family member — should attend all appointments with you and be with you at all times during your hospital stay. This person will support, encourage and care for you as needed while you recover.
Your surgical team includes your orthopedic surgeon, an anesthesiologist and registered nurse who are in charge of managing your care before, during and after surgery.

In most hip replacement cases, therapy isn't necessary once you've been discharged from the hospital. However, during your stay, physical and occupational therapists will work with you to maximize your independence and ensure you are safe to go home. They will teach you exercises to regain muscle strength, walk with a device and complete daily tasks.

The rest of your care team consists of case managers, pharmacists, hospitalists and support staff to make sure your surgery, hospital stay and aftercare go according to plan.

Preparing for Hip Replacement

Before your hip replacement surgery, you will be evaluated to make sure you're healthy enough for surgery. This could include blood tests and occasionally a chest X-ray. Your doctor will tell you which medications to stop taking right before surgery, rules about eating and drinking before surgery, and any other steps you need to take to prepare for hip replacement surgery.

Hip replacement is a major surgery, and you will need help around the house until you get your mobility back. Your doctor will provide a list of steps to take in advance to make your recovery easier, including things like:

  • Having caregivers available to help you
  • Stocking up on prepared meals and groceries
  • Having items you use a lot within easy reach
  • Removing rugs, furniture, cords and obstacles that could cause you to trip
  • Planning a way to wash or bathe
  • Installing a raised toilet seat

Your doctor will also tell you if you need to get crutches or a walker in advance and what to bring to the hospital.

Why Choose IU Health for Your Hip Replacement

Due to our relationship with Indiana University School of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country, you receive the latest treatments and benefits of research and experience. Orthopedic surgeons at IU Health perform more than 3,300 joint replacements each year.

We are home to the only hospital in the United States that ranks in the Top 10 for both length of stay and readmission, two industry-wide measures of success. Learn more about the IU Health Hip & Knee Center.

Your Healthcare Team

Your healthcare team has special training in orthopedics. They will help you through your surgery. Here are some of the members of your team:

You are the most important member of your healthcare team. Your input will be important during your stay and you will be involved in all aspects of your care. Your support person — a loved one, friend or family member — should attend all appointments with you and be with you at all times during your hospital stay. This person will support, encourage and care for you as needed while you recover.
Your surgical team includes your orthopedic surgeon, an anesthesiologist and registered nurse who are in charge of managing your care before, during and after surgery.

In most hip replacement cases, therapy isn't necessary once you've been discharged from the hospital. However, during your stay, physical and occupational therapists will work with you to maximize your independence and ensure you are safe to go home. They will teach you exercises to regain muscle strength, walk with a device and complete daily tasks.

The rest of your care team consists of case managers, pharmacists, hospitalists and support staff to make sure your surgery, hospital stay and aftercare go according to plan.

Your movement will be limited right after hip replacement surgery. Your nurses will brace your hip with pillows or a device to hold it safely in place when you’re in bed. You may receive fluids through an IV tube. You may have a drainage tube near your incision and a catheter to drain your urine until you can use the bathroom.

Your doctor will prescribe medication for pain.

Rehabilitation

Usually the day after surgery, a therapist will teach you exercises to strengthen your hip and help with your recovery. The therapist will also show you how to safely bend, sit, stand and walk until you have full movement in your new hip. You can usually walk with assistance within a day or two after surgery.

You can expect to spend three or four days in the hospital and full recovery after three to six months.

After Your Surgery

Your movement will be limited right after hip replacement surgery. Your nurses will brace your hip with pillows or a device to hold it safely in place when you’re in bed. You may receive fluids through an IV tube. You may have a drainage tube near your incision and a catheter to drain your urine until you can use the bathroom.

Your doctor will prescribe medication for pain.

Rehabilitation

Usually the day after surgery, a therapist will teach you exercises to strengthen your hip and help with your recovery. The therapist will also show you how to safely bend, sit, stand and walk until you have full movement in your new hip. You can usually walk with assistance within a day or two after surgery.

You can expect to spend three or four days in the hospital and full recovery after three to six months.

Patient Stories for Hip Replacement