Hip Replacement Surgery


The hip joint is a ball and socket joint with the ball at the top of your thigh bone (femoral head) rotating in the socket (acetabulum) of your pelvis. The socket is lined with smooth cartilage.


A hip replacement is a very common surgical procedure whereby the damaged hip joint is replaced with an artificial ball and socket joint, called a prosthesis. The prosthesis can be made of metal, ceramic, plastic and will be fixed into place with bone cement.


Hip problems can occur at any age but are more common over aged 60 due to osteoarthritis or gradual wear and tear of the joint lining cartilage. Worn cartilage will cause pain in the groin, thigh and buttock and can lead to reduced mobility, a barrier to regular activities and disturbed sleep.


Non-invasive treatments such as oral pain medication, steroid injections and physiotherapy will usually be recommended in the first instance. However, if these measures provide little relief and the pain is no longer manageable, surgery would be the next recommended step.


After surgery most patients will see a significant reduction in pain and improved movement.


What happens during this procedure?

Hip replacement surgery uses spinal or general anaesthetic. The spinal anaesthetic will block the feeling from your waist down, and you will remain awake during the procedure but given some sedation to relax you. If you have a general anaesthetic, you will be asleep during the procedure.


Your consultant will make an incision at the top of the thigh, about 20cm in length. The ball at the top of your thigh bone (femoral head) will be removed and replaced with the prosthetic ball on a long stem that is put into your thigh bone. The worn cartilage lining of the hip socket (acetabulum) is then removed and the area hollowed out to accommodate the new ball, thereby creating a new hip joint.  The incision will be closed with stitches or clips and covered with a dressing.


The procedure can take 1 – 2 hours, longer if you are having bi-lateral hip replacement surgery.


How long will it take to recover?

General anaesthetic wears off rapidly and you will be awake very soon after the operation although you may feel drowsy for an hour or two. You may feel some discomfort and will be offered pain relief if you need it.


If you had a spinal anaesthetic you may not be able to feel your legs for a few hours.  When the anaesthetic begins to wear off you will experience a tingling sensation and within an hour full feeling will return. You will be offered pain relief if you need it.


While in hospital a physiotherapist will want to see that you can bear some weight, and will give you advice on what exercises to do to mobilise your hip.  Post-operative rehabilitation with a physiotherapist is key to ensure muscles are strengthened and to minimise the post-operative stiffness.


After 2 – 3 days, if you are able to walk independently or with the aid of a frame or crutches, you will be able to go home. You will need to keep your wound covered until your stitches or staples are removed, usually after 10 days.


Your consultant will see you for a follow up at our hospital in Hertfordshire and will give you clear guidance depending on your individual surgery and physical health, on what you can and can’t do during your recovery.


You are likely to feel the benefits of surgery straight away, but you will have some pain and tenderness in your hip for 1 – 2 weeks after surgery. Anti-inflammatory painkillers, an ice pack and rest will help provide some relief.  You are also likely to feel more tired during this time so it’s important to rest and let your strength and return to everyday activities build up slowly.   It is important to continue with your physiotherapy exercises as they are crucial to your recovery.


You should be to walk unaided between 4 and 6 weeks and return to driving in a similar timescale.


If the pain in your hip has settled and your job is not physically demanding you should be able to return to work after 4 – 6 weeks. You may also be ready to drive at this time. If you have a physically demanding job you may need to take more time off.


Hip Replacement Surgery Explained


Revision Hip Replacement

Modern hip replacements are increasingly durable, with 90% of new hips expected to be functioning beyond 10 years and 80% for 20 years. However new hip joint is likely to wear out eventually, and you may need to have another operation.


Revision hip replacement surgery involves replacing your artificial hip joint if it has become loose, infected or worn out. It is often a more complex procedure than the original hip replacement surgery because the existing prosthesis will need to be removed and it may be necessary to repair the bone before fixing the new prosthesis.  Otherwise, the surgery and recovery is the same as with a hip replacement. Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following total hip revision.


Need Help?

Hip Replacement and Revision Hip Replacement surgery is available at One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire. You can see an Orthopaedic Hip and Knee Consultant for an initial consultation, usually within 48 hours. 


You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Hip Replacement Surgery treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages. If you are using your health insurance, please contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at One Hatfield Hospital.

Why One Hatfield

  • Modern purpose-built hospital opened in December 2017
  • Fast access to diagnostics including MRI, X-ray and Ultrasound
  • Private, spacious, en-suite rooms
  • Specialist physiotherapy and nursing teams
  • Little or no waiting time
  • ‘Ultra clean air’ theatres
  • Freshly prepared food
  • Calm, dignified experience

Contact us and find out more

If you are based in and around Hertfordshire, St Albans, Stevenage, Watford, Barnet, North London, Welwyn or Bedfordshire and would like to visit the One Hatfield Hospital please click here.

Orthopaedics Pricing Guide at One Hatfield Hospital

This is a list of guide prices for some of common Orthopaedics treatments and procedures.

Treatment Guide Price from
Hand and Wrist 
Carpal Tunnel Release - One Wrist £2,350
Excision of Ganglion £2,309
Shoulder - Rotator Cuff Repair £8,115
Foot and Ankle 
Bunion Removal  - One Foot  £6,500
Knee - Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair (ACL) £12,495
Multiple Knee Arthroscopy £5,000
Knee - Replacement £16,100
Hip - Replacement £15,770


Contact the Hospital About Hip Replacement Surgery
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