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Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common orthopaedic procedures in the UK. The surgeon replaces a painful arthritic hip with an artificial joint.
A hip replacement is recommended for patients whose hips have become so painful through damage that the pain interferes with everyday living, such as walking, driving and getting dressed. Some common reasons why a hip might become damaged include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and following previous injury to and around the hip bone.
The operation can be carried out under general or spinal anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make an incision on the side of your hip, remove the damaged hip joint and replace it with an artificial joint.
The procedure usually takes between one and one-and-a-half hours.
We practice the Enhanced Recovery Pathway (ERP), which is a modern, evidence-based approach that helps people recover more quickly after having major surgery. Our physiotherapists begin working closely with patients within hours of joint replacement surgery, getting them up on their feet and growing their confidence. The length of stay at our hospital can be significantly shorter as a result or ERP. Early mobilisation and a return home reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis and infections, as well as making patients feel more comfortable. With this support you will be mobile enough to go home two to three days after your operation. You will be given exercises and instructions on how to use mobility aids such as crutches and sticks. For the first four to six weeks you will need crutches or sticks to get around and you will need to do your exercises to ensure your new hip joint gives you the best results. Most people are back to normal within two to three months, but it can take up to a year before you fully benefit from your new hip. It is up to individuals to do the exercises to make sure that the hip gets strong and has a full range of movement.
A new hip joint can relieve pain, improve function, increase mobility and contribute to a better quality of life.
All surgical procedures have risks, but the chances of serious complications following hip replacements are very low – less than one per cent. Complications can include dislocation, infection, injury to the blood vessels or nerves, a fracture or a difference in leg length. General complications also include deep vein thrombosis for which steps during and after surgery are taken to decrease this risk.
A modern artificial hip is designed to last for at least 15 years on average. However, occasionally, the new joint can wear out or go wrong within that period. If this happens then further surgery is required, and this is called revision surgery. It is estimated that around one in 10 of those with an artificial hip will need a revision within 10 years of their surgery.
An injection in the hip may help improve symptoms for a period of time delaying the need for hip replacement surgery.
A pre-operative assessment is our opportunity to ensure that the procedure for which you have been referred is right for you. We’ll explain your treatment to you and make sure that you are well enough to go ahead with it. It is also your opportunity to meet the team who will care for you and to ask any questions.
We carry out all the necessary tests and examinations in one outpatient session. While this may take several hours, everything is done in one go to save frequent visits before surgery.
Hip replacement surgery is available on the NHS and we will treat you as an NHS patient. In order to be treated at our Gillingham based Will Adams NHS Treatment Centre you will need to be examined and referred to us for treatment by your GP. Remember, it is your right to choose where you receive your NHS treatment and we are part of that choice – if we are not offered as a choice do not be afraid to ask for a referral to us if you would prefer to come here for treatment. Call us on 0333 200 4055 or write to us via the contact form.
Where hip replacement surgery is not available on the NHS, or where the number of NHS procedures available has been reduced and has resulted in a longer waiting time, you can choose to pay for your treatment yourself via our self pay option.
Self pay is available if you find you are not eligible for NHS-funded care and do not have private medical insurance.
Self pay is available for you at Will Adams NHS Treatment Centre in Gillingham if you find you are not eligible for NHS-funded care and do not have private medical insurance. You will need an open referral letter from your GP (we can help you with this – just call us on 0330 058 1732). Because we don’t include all of the costly extras you may associate with private hospital treatment, paying for yourself could cost you considerably less than you might imagine too. There are also financing options available, to help you spread the cost. Find out more here: Self pay information.