Arthritis Home > Hip Replacement Surgery

During surgery for hip replacement, an artificial joint is used to replace a defective hip joint (often due to arthritis). Prior to the surgery, you will be given anesthesia. The procedure involves the surgeon making an incision, removing some tissue and bone, and implanting an artificial hip. After the surgery, the incision will be closed with staples or stitches.

An Overview of Hip Replacement Surgery

This type of surgery is used to replace an arthritic hip with an artificial hip joint. Hip arthritis is the result of wear and tear on your hip joint from activities over time. It is a progressive disease that causes pain and disability.
 

The Implant

During your surgery for hip replacement, a special implant, or artificial joint, is used to replace your hip. The implants are made of metal, normally an alloy, which is a combination of several metals.
 
Most implant designs use a small, specialized, plastic insert between the two metal parts that acts as a weight-bearing surface for the joint, like your natural cartilage.
 
Depending on the type of implant, bone cement may be used to fix the implant components securely into place.
 

Before the Surgery

After you are given anesthesia, a catheter, or thin tube, is often inserted into your bladder. This prevents your bladder from becoming too full during or shortly after your surgery.
 
You will then be placed on your side. This is the best position to access the hip joint. On the operating table, straps will be placed around you to provide for your safety.
 
To help reduce the chance of infection, the surgical area will be scrubbed with a special soap and you will be covered with sterile sheets. The only area exposed will be the site where the hip replacement surgery is being performed.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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