What Does Complete Hip Replacement Surgery Involve?

A few weeks before the complete hip replacement procedure, patients will undergo a series of evaluations to assess their health and receive clearance for the operation. These evaluations include:

  • Laboratory testing
  • Urine analysis
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • X-ray imaging

The surgeon will review the patient's medical history and ask about any medication they're taking that could potentially interfere with the procedure. The hip is inspected to assess its range of motion and surrounding muscle strength. Patients may be advised to perform specific physical exercises to build up strength. 

Some patients will be asked to lose weight before the operation and limit or quit smoking to reduce the risk of complications. During this time, patients will also receive advice on requirements for the post-operatory period, including social planning and home preparations

Surgical Procedure

Complete hip replacement surgery can take between 2 to 4 hours to complete and follows a series of basic steps.

  • Patients are administered regional or general anesthesia before the operation. 
  • The surgeon makes an incision to access the damaged joint and uses precise tools to remove bone and cartilage.
  • The acetabulum or pelvic socket replacement shaped like a cup is implanted.
  • The surgeon drills through the top of the femur and inserts a stem to which the artificial femoral head is attached. The artificial femoral head is placed in the newly implanted pelvic socket cup.  
  • The surgeon closes the incision to finalize the operation, and the patient is moved to recovery, where measures will be taken to manage pain and reduce swelling. 

The replacement prosthetics are made from durable materials like cobalt-chromium, stainless steel, titanium, polyethylene, or ceramic. Patients' outlook following surgery is more than favorable, with 85% of cases reporting good results after 20 years. 

After patients are discharged, they will be advised how to tend to their healing wounds properly and will be prescribed medication to control pain. A few weeks after the operation, patients will begin rehabilitation to regain hip function.