Total Hip Replacement

Chronic hip pain doesn’t just slow you down, it can impact your everyday activities, ability to work and overall quality of life. If non-surgical options haven’t helped relieve your hip pain, a total hip replacement may be your best option for getting back to moving better with less pain. The St. Elizabeth Orthopaedic team can help.

What is a Total Hip Replacement?

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint. A ball at the end of the femur, the large bone of the upper leg, fits into a socket of the pelvis. Cartilage lines the ball and socket, allowing the joint to move smoothly. Conditions like arthritis, or an injury, such as a fracture can damage the joint’s bones or cartilage. That can cause grinding between the two surfaces, making movements like bending, walking and climbing stairs painful.

Total hip replacement, also known as hip arthroplasty, replaces a worn out or damaged hip joint with an artificial joint, an implant. The ball portion of the implant is usually metal and the socket is usually plastic, a combination that allows the joint to move freely without grinding, reducing the pain for you.

What to Expect with Hip Replacement Surgery?

If your surgeon thinks hip replacement is right for you, then you can look forward to moving easier, with less pain. Although implants don’t last forever, artificial hip joints can last 15-20 years for most people.

Our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons use advanced procedures and new technology to improve results and reduce risks associated with hip replacement surgery.

There are different hip surgery options. Our surgeons perform hip replacement surgery from the front of the thigh (anterior hip replacement), which is minimally invasive and allows for faster healing. You may be a candidate for same-day surgery or your condition may require a one-two night hospital stay. You and your surgeon will talk about which option is best for you.

If possible, you’ll be up and walking the day of surgery. If you need more follow-up care or additional therapy, you may go to a skilled nursing facility for a period of time. Your rehabilitation and physical therapy are important to healing well and getting back to an active life with less pain. Our St. Elizabeth Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation specialists are with you every step of the way.

Woman with hip pain

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If surgery is necessary, our physicians can provide a referral to one of our affiliated orthopedic surgeons. For more information on surgical options, please contact us at

Why the St. Elizabeth Total Joint Center?

When it comes to excellence in total hip replacement surgery and care, St. Elizabeth Total Joint Center offers you a nationally recognized team of experts close to home. The center includes 36 patient suites, a spacious rehabilitation area and classroom for patient and family education. The difference at St. Elizabeth is we use advanced procedures and new technology to improve results and reduce risks associated with hip replacement surgery.

Your orthopaedic care team consists of physicians, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, program coordinator, nurse managers and team leaders. Our focus is on you and helping you get back to an active life with less pain.

Hip Replacement – Is it Right For You?

If you’re considering hip replacement surgery, you probably have lots of questions. At the St. Elizabeth Total Joint Center, we want to help you understand the process from beginning to end and understand the impact the surgery and recovery will have on your day-to-day life. We want you to be knowledgeable and prepared for your knee replacement to ensure both your surgery and recovery goes as smoothly as possible. Learn about Total Hip Replacement and what to expect with more frequently asked questions below.

The surgery usually takes an hour, but can take longer if your condition is more complicated.

There are three parts included in a total hip replacement; they can be made of metal, ceramic and plastic:

  • A cup and liner replace the hip socket
  • A metal or ceramic ball replaces the ball at the top of your femur (thigh bone)
  • A stem replaces the neck of the femur
You will be able to go home the same day if the same-day hip replacement surgery is an option for you. If it’s not, most people are in the hospital 1-2 nights after surgery. The length of time you will be in the hospital varies depending on your condition. Some patients go to a skilled nursing facility for a period of time for continued care before going home.
Infection and blood clots are potential complications, but there are medications and procedures that help prevent them. There is also a risk for dislocation of your new joint. You can reduce that risk by making sure you’re fully recovered and have your doctor’s approval before getting back to all of your regular activities. You should discuss potential complications with your surgeon before surgery.
Sometimes injections, such as steroids or anti-inflammatory medications can help you put off surgery, but you should talk to your physician about non-surgical treatment options. Different braces and therapies may also give you short-term pain relief.
Further damage to the joint may require a more complex surgery and longer recovery time down the road. Talk with your doctor about your condition and your specific risks.
Losing weight, if needed, to relieve pressure on joints is always high on your doctor’s list. Quitting smoking and diabetes control are also important. Your doctor can give you other ways to help increase the success of your surgery.
A successful hip replacement takes being committed to putting in the time and energy needed for rehabilitation. Rehab will begin in the hospital, usually the day of surgery. You’ll have exercises to continue at home. Some patients continue outpatient physical therapy for up to several weeks to strengthen the muscles around the new hip joint.
General anesthesia is an option for hip replacement surgery, however, sometimes a spinal injection with less anesthesia is used instead. You may also receive a nerve block, which helps with the pain from the surgery. Your anesthesiologist will talk to you about the different options.

You may need a walker for a short time following surgery, which we will provide while you are in the hospital. If you don’t have one to use at home, we can help you get one. You may progress to crutches while in the hospital. If so, we’ll provide crutches for you to take home.

Leg length discrepancy is rare. Your surgeon works diligently to avoid this complication. In cases where patients feel there is a change, that perception usually disappears over several months as muscles and tissues stretch.

Usually, you’ll be able to drive again within four-six weeks, maybe sooner if the new joint is in your left leg. Never drive if you’re still taking prescription pain medication.
Yes, you will need help at home for 4-5 days.
If you do need to use stairs, our Physical Therapists will show you how to negotiate them safely. It is always better to avoid stairs for the first week or two if possible.
Showering is determined by the type of dressing your surgeon uses. You will be instructed on when to shower upon discharge.
While your hip heals, you need to avoid crossing your legs.
Thanks to improvements in techniques and materials, new hip implants typically last 15-20 years for most people.

Contact Us

Is your hip pain bothering you?

Schedule an appointment with our Sports Medicine physicians for a treatment plan tailored to you. Call (859) 212-5600 to make an appointment.

Surgical Options

If surgery is necessary, our physicians can provide a referral to one of our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons. For more information on surgical options, please contact us at