In total hip replacement surgery, the surgeon replaces the hip joint’s degenerated cartilage and bone with implants.

Patients in need of total hip replacement surgery usually have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Broken hip
  • Injuries that cause the joint to become rough and worn, resulting in pain, swelling and stiffness when the bones rub together

Some patients may be candidates for less invasive types of hip replacement surgeries. Learn more about hip resurfacing and the anterior approach to hip replacement.

The difference between the anterior approach to hip replacement surgery and the more traditional posterior approach is the access to your hip joint.

About Total Hip Replacement Surgery - Posterior Approach

In the posterior approach, an incision is made beside or behind your hip joint. Your surgeon goes through muscle and detaches some of the muscles from the “ball and socket” of the hip joint.

Next, your surgeon smoothes 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.

Recovery Process

You will be up and walking the day after hip 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 total hip replacement surgery. After you are released from the hospital you will continue with strengthening exercises at home.

After you go home, your doctor may recommend:

  • Walking
  • Strength training exercises
  • Icing the operative area

Some patients may need to go to a specialized rehab center for more treatment. In all, total rehab after surgery will take several months.

Controlling your weight will help your new hip joint last longer. Learn more about weight management.

Hip Resurfacing at Wake Forest Baptist Health

At Wake Forest Baptist, our experienced physicians use the latest technology and most advanced techniques to offer you surgery options that mean less pain and shorter recovery times for you.

Joint Replacement Program

We offer one of the most comprehensive joint replacement programs in the Winston-Salem area. 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.