This surgery replaces the damaged parts of your hip with artificial materials to relieve pain and improve function and mobility.

Total Hip Replacement

Orthopaedics Infoline

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What is a total hip replacement?

Total hip replacement surgery, also known as hip replacement or hip arthroplasty, is an advanced technique that repairs your damaged hip joint using artificial parts. As one of the body’s largest weight-bearing joints, the hip is vulnerable to injury or disease particularly as we age. Hip replacement surgery is usually required to relieve pain caused by severe arthritis or injury.

During the procedure, the ball-shaped femoral head at the top of the thighbone is removed and replaced by an artificial ball and stem. This is implanted down into the thighbone. The damaged surface of the socket is also replaced, and a ceramic or plastic spacer is inserted between the ball and socket to facilitate a smooth and gliding movement.

Total hip replacement surgery is now one of the most common and successful types of joint surgery in Australia. It helps thousands of people regain mobility and improve their quality of life.

Is it right for me?

The decision to have hip replacement surgery is very personal and will depend on many factors. Although most patients tend to be older, recommendations are usually made based on the level of pain you are experiencing and how the condition is limiting your daily life. You may be suffering from stiffness, limping, swelling, a limited range of motion as well as ongoing pain. This can take an emotional toll and be difficult to deal with on a daily basis.

Surgery is usually the last option to consider, but if hip pain is left untreated it can worsen and cause other problems. Certain conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can damage the cartilage to such an extent that replacement surgery becomes necessary.

In a situation where support such as pain relief, physiotherapy and walking aids has been ineffective over a period of time, your doctor may recommend a hip replacement as a beneficial alternative. 


Before undergoing the procedure, your doctor will undergo a thorough medical evaluation to ensure you're healthy enough for surgery and anaesthesia. Some medications may need adjustments or temporary discontinuation prior to surgery. 

Follow up

Postoperative care often includes physical therapy to aid in recovery and improve mobility, pain management medications, and possibly blood thinners to prevent clot formation. Regular follow-up appointments with your orthopaedic surgeon are crucial to monitor the healing process and ensure the implant is functioning as intended.

Total Hip Replacement FAQs

Modern hip replacements are designed to last many years. With advancements in surgical techniques and prosthetic materials, most patients can expect their hip replacement to last 15 to 20 years, and often even longer. However, the longevity of the artificial hip can vary based on factors like the patient's activity level, weight, and overall health.
The duration of a total hip replacement surgery at St Vincent's Private Hospital typically ranges from 1 to 2 hours. However, this can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the specific needs of the patient. Our team ensures that each surgery is performed with the utmost precision and care, tailored to the individual's requirements.
Recovery from a total hip replacement varies among individuals, but most patients can expect to return to light activities within 4 to 6 weeks post-surgery. Full recovery, where patients can engage in most of their regular activities, typically occurs within 3 to 6 months. It's important to follow a rehabilitation plan and maintain strength and flexibility to expedite recovery.
While low-impact activities are encouraged after a total hip replacement, high-impact activities such as running might not be suitable for all patients. It's crucial to consult with your orthopaedic surgeon and physiotherapist to understand what activities are safe for you, based on your individual circumstances and the specifics of your surgery.
The ability to drive after a total hip replacement depends on several factors, including the type of surgery, your overall health, and your reaction to the surgery. Generally, patients may be able to drive after 4 to 6 weeks post-surgery, but it's essential to get clearance from your orthopaedic surgeon before resuming driving.
orthopaedics treatment costs

How much will my hip surgery cost?

Understanding the cost of your treatment is an important consideration before committing to surgery, but it’s not always easy to find the information you need. Learn more about the factors which contribute to the cost of your surgery:

What will my treatment and recovery look like?

Familiarising yourself with your treatment program and understanding the recovery process are important steps to take on the pathway to surgery.


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