We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

Hip replacement surgery

Print page Open all Reset all

Do I need a hip replacement?

You won’t necessarily need a hip replacement if you have arthritis of the hip. But it may be worth considering if your hip is severely damaged by arthritis and the pain, disability or stiffness are having serious effects on your daily activities. Read more >

What are the possible advantages of a hip replacement?

Benefits of having a hip replacement can include: 
  • freedom from pain
  • improved mobility
  • improved quality of life.
Read more >

What are the possible disadvantages of a hip replacement?

Possible disadvantages of of having a hip replacement can include:
  • some limitations in movement
  • risks associated with surgery.
Read more >

What are the different types of hip replacement surgery?

Types of hip surgery include:
  • total hip replacement
  • metal-on-metal hip resurfacing.
Read more >

How should I prepare for hip replacement surgery?

Before you have surgery, you should ask your hospital team the following questions:

  • What can I expect from surgery?
  • What can I expect if I don’t have surgery?
  • What are the alternatives?
  • What are the risks?
  • How long will I be in hospital?
  • How will I manage at home while I’m recovering from surgery?
  • When will I get back to normal?
  • What if I have problems after surgery?
  • Read more >

What will my recovery from hip replacement surgery involve?

Immediately after your operation you'll be given some form of painkiller and have any drips and drains removed. Your recovery will also involve some physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Most people are able to leave hospital within 4-8 days. Read more >

Looking after your new hip joint

You may not be able to bend your leg towards your stomach as far as you’d like to – it’s important not to test your new joint to see how far it’ll go. You need to take great care during the first 8–12 weeks after the operation to avoid dislocating the hip. But it’s also important to continue with the programme of muscle-strengthening exercises recommended by your physiotherapist. Read more >

What about exercise following a hip replacement?

Regular exercise is very important – walking and swimming are fine, but you may need to wait about 12 weeks to cycle or do sports that involve bending or twisting at the hip. Read more >

What are the possible complications of hip replacement surgery?

Possible complications of hip replacement surgery include:
  • blood clots
  • wound haematoma (bleeding)
  • dislocation
  • infection of the joint
  • one leg longer than the other
  • nerve damage
  • ongoing discomfort
  • wear
  • loosening.

You should seek medical advice straight away if:

  • you have pain and/or swelling in your leg
  • you have chest pain or sudden breathlessness.
Read more >

How long will the new hip joint last?

Modern hip replacements should last for 20 years in 8 out of 10 patients. In more active patients the joints may wear out more quickly. It’s usually possible to have further hip replacements if necessary, although the results may not be quite as good as with your first hip replacement. Read more >

Research and new developments for hip replacement surgery

Newer techniques include minimally invasive surgery, which causes less tissue damage. Research into which implants work best for which patients is ongoing, based on data from the National Joint Registry. Read more >
For more information, go to or call 0300 790 0400 to order the complete printed booklet.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.