(Hip Arthroplasty; Total Hip Replacement; Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement; Mini-incision Hip Replacement)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
A total hip replacement is surgery to replace a diseased or injured hip joint. An artificial ball-and-socket joint is inserted to make a new hip.
Reasons for Procedure
This surgery is done on people who are not helped by other methods. It is also done when the pain and stiffness limit normal activities.
It may also be done to treat a broken hip, severe arthritis, bone tumors, and loss of blood supply to the bones of the hip.
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
The doctor may give:
Description of the Procedure
This can be done using open surgery or using a minimally invasive technique.
An incision will be made along the joint. The muscles will be moved aside. The damaged bone and cartilage of the hip joint will be removed. The remaining bone will be prepared for the artificial joint. The artificial joint will be put in place. Bone cement may be used to hold one or both parts of the artificial hip to the bone. The incision will be closed with stitches or staples.
Minimally Invasive Technique
A few small incisions will be made. Tools will be passed through these incisions. Images may be taken to help guide surgery. The muscles will be moved aside. The damaged bone and cartilage of the hip joint will be removed. The remaining bone will be prepared for the artificial joint. The artificial joint will be put in place. Bone cement may be used to hold one or both parts of the artificial hip to the bone. The incision will be closed with stitches or staples.
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Pain and swelling are common in the first few weeks. Medicine and home care can manage pain.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 1 to 3 days. If you have problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
After the procedure, the staff may:
During your stay, staff will take steps to lower your chance of infection, such as:
You can also lower your chance of infection by:
Physical activity will be limited during recovery. You may need to ask for help with daily activities and delay your return to work for a few weeks. It will take about 6 weeks before you can begin light activities.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
The Arthritis Society
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Elective total hip arthroplasty. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Updated May 5, 2020. Accessed July 15, 2020.
Minimally invasive total hip replacement surgery. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated June 2014. Accessed July 15, 2020.
Ninomiya JT, Dean JC, et al. What's New in Hip Replacement. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2015 Sep 16;97(18):1543-1551.
6/14/2017 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed... : Wilson SH, Wolf BJ, et al. Comparison of lumbar epidurals and lumbar plexus nerve blocks for analgesia following primary total hip arthroplasty: a retrospective analysis. J Arthroplasty. 2017;32(2):635-640.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 7/15/2020