At Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, our specialists have extensive experience performing total hip replacement surgery, including the posterior approach. We use the most advanced techniques and technologies to restore movement, minimize pain and get you back to the things you love.

Deciding the Best Approach for You

Your doctor may recommend total hip replacement surgery if you have primary or secondary osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, a broken hip or another injury or congenital condition that causes problems with your hip joint.

There’s no “best” approach to hip replacement that works for everyone. Our surgeons use their expertise to determine the approach that will give you the best possible outcome.

Your personalized treatment plan depends on many factors, such as your medical history, overall health, fitness level, body type, X-ray images, surgeon’s preference and more.

You’ll have an opportunity to discuss options with the surgeon during your medical examination.

Minimally Invasive Posterior Hip Replacement

This surgical technique is used to access the hip joint through a small incision made on the side of the hip or closer to the buttocks. This incision is placed so that the major muscles for hip function (walking) are not cut.

Some of the benefits to this approach include:

  • Minimal damage to the soft tissue surrounding the hip joint
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Faster return to normal activities
  • Joint stability with no movement precautions

Traditional Posterior Hip Replacement

With the traditional posterior approach to total hip replacement, the surgeon will make an incision at the back of the hip close to the buttocks. The incision may be slightly larger in size to gain access to the hip joint, also providing an excellent view of the hip structure. Some muscle is cut or detached to get to the joint, then repaired once the hip implants are in place. 

This approach to hip replacement is also considered minimally invasive due to advances in surgical techniques that decrease muscle trauma.

About Total Hip Replacement Surgery 

In total hip replacement surgery, your surgeon smooths out the hip socket and removes cartilage and any debris such as damage to the bone from osteoarthritis.

A cup-shaped implant is secured into the socket. The ball at the top of the leg bone is trimmed away and a metal stem is placed inside the leg bone and secured there.

A ball (metal or ceramic) is placed at the top of the stem and then a smooth, sturdy plastic, metal or ceramic piece is placed inside the cup-shaped implant. This creates a new hip joint that moves smoothly.

Recovering from Total Hip Replacement 

You will be up and walking the day of surgery. Most patients can go home the same day as long as the set criteria (goals) for discharge are met. Your surgeon will determine if you’re eligible for same-day (outpatient) hip replacement surgery.  

Recovery varies from patient to patient, but most patients are walking unassisted within 2 to 8 weeks. You will work with a physical therapist during your hospital stay and learn how to use a walker, cane or crutches. 

After you’re released from the hospital, you will continue with strengthening exercises at home. Your doctor may recommend: 

  • Walking
  • Strength training exercises
  • Icing the operative area

Some patients may need home health or outpatient physical therapy services. In all, total rehab after surgery will take several months.

Joint Replacement Program

We offer one of the most comprehensive joint replacement programs in the region. From minimally invasive to bone-sparing procedures, our full menu of surgical options fits patients of all ages and activity levels.

Our orthopaedic teams include surgeons who are highly trained specialists in their fields. That means they focus on diagnosing and treating problems in only one region of the body, such as the knees, hips or shoulders.

If needed, we can also connect you to our team of weight management specialists. Patients with a healthy weight going into hip replacement surgery are likely to have better outcomes. Additionally, controlling your weight after surgery will help your new hip joint last longer. Our experts can help you prepare for surgery by optimizing your BMI to 40 or less. Learn more about weight management.