Top of the page
A partial hip replacement removes and replaces the ball of the hip joint. It does not replace the socket. This surgery is most often done to repair certain types of hip fractures.
The ceramic or metal ball is attached to a metal stem. This is called a hip implant. The stem is set down into the core of the thigh bone (femur). It is firmly fixed in the femur in one of two ways:
Your doctor may use general anesthesia. This means you'll be asleep during the surgery. Or your doctor may use regional anesthesia. This means you can't feel the area of the surgery. You'll have medicine that makes you unaware and lightly asleep. Which type of anesthesia you get depends on your doctor and on your overall health. Your doctor might also ask what you prefer.
When you wake up from surgery, your pain will be controlled with intravenous (IV) medicine. You will also likely have medicines to prevent infection, blood clots, and nausea. If you had regional anesthesia, expect to have little or no feeling below your waist for a while.
Coming out of surgery, you may have a cushion between your legs. This is to keep your new hip in the correct position. You may also have a catheter. It lets you empty your bladder without getting up. To help prevent blood clots, you'll likely be wearing compression stockings. And you may have compression sleeves on your legs. These squeeze and release your lower legs to help keep the blood moving.
As soon as possible, you will be taught how to move your body without dislocating your hip. Until your hip is fully healed, you will need to follow "hip precautions." Most often, this means that:
On the day of surgery or the day after, you'll get out of bed with help. You will learn how to walk with a walker or crutches. By the time you leave the hospital, you will be able to safely sit down and stand up, dress yourself, use the toilet, bathe, and use stairs.
Your doctor will let you know if you will stay in the hospital or if you can go home the day of surgery. When you go home, you will need someone to help you for the next few weeks or until you have more energy and can move around better. Some people who need more extensive rehab may go to a specialized rehab centre for more treatment.
During the first week or so after surgery, you will need less and less pain medicine. For a few weeks after surgery, you will likely take medicine to prevent blood clots.
You may need a walker, crutches, or a cane for a few weeks. As you get your energy back, work up to taking a short walk a few times each day. If you feel any soreness, try a cold pack on your hip.
Don't drive until:
Complete recovery after a hip replacement can take at least 6 months. Keep up your walking and physiotherapy exercises. They help speed your recovery.
For most people, it is safe to have sex about 4 to 6 weeks after a hip replacement. Talk to your doctor about when it is okay to have sex and what positions are safe for your hip.
Exercise (such as swimming and walking) is important for building your muscle strength. And it helps you feel better overall. Discuss with your doctor what type of exercise is best for you.
Your doctor will probably want to see you at least once every year to check your hip.
For at least 2 years after your surgery, your doctor may want you to take antibiotics before dental work or any invasive procedure. This is to help prevent infection around your hip implant. After 2 years, your doctor and dentist will decide if you still need to take antibiotics.
A partial hip replacement surgery is most often done to repair certain types of hip fractures. It is an option when the socket of the hip joint is healthy.
Surgery usually works well. But recovery does take patience and time. Your hip will likely regain most, if not all, of what it used to do.
Because of the way the hip is structured, every added kilogram of body weight adds 3 kilograms of stress to the hip. Controlling your weight will help your new hip joint last longer. Your hip should also last longer if you do not do hard physical work or play sports that stress the joint.
The risks of hip replacement surgery can be divided into two groups.
Current as of: June 26, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma & Jeffrey N. Katz MD, MPH - Rheumatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.