What to Expect When Having a Total Hip Replacement

What to Expect When Having a Total Hip Replacement

What to Expect When Having a Total Hip Replacement


Hip replacement surgery, also known as total hip arthroplasty, is a common procedure aimed at relieving pain and restoring function in patients with severe hip damage. If you're considering this surgery, it's essential to understand the process and what to expect. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know, from pre-operative preparations to post-operative recovery. If you’re looking for an orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute today for more information.


What is a Total Hip Replacement?

A total hip replacement involves removing the damaged parts of the hip joint and replacing them with artificial components. The procedure is typically recommended for patients with severe arthritis, fractures, or other conditions that cause significant pain and mobility issues. The goal of the surgery is to improve the patient's quality of life by reducing pain and increasing joint function.

Finding the Right Orthopedic Surgeon in Lake Mary, FL

Choosing an experienced and skilled orthopedic surgeon is crucial for a successful hip replacement surgery. If you're in Lake Mary, FL, consider consulting the specialists at Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute. They offer personalized care and advanced surgical techniques to ensure the best possible outcomes for their patients.

Pre-Operative Preparations

Medical Evaluation

Before undergoing hip replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will conduct a thorough medical evaluation. This includes a physical examination, medical history review, and imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs. These assessments help the surgeon determine the extent of the damage and plan the surgery.

Pre-Surgery Instructions

Your surgeon will provide specific instructions to follow before the surgery. These may include:

  • Medications: Some medications may need to be stopped or adjusted before surgery.
  • Diet: You may be asked to fast for a certain period before the procedure.
  • Exercise: Strengthening exercises for the hip and surrounding muscles can improve recovery.

Pre-Operative Education

Many hospitals and clinics offer pre-operative education classes to help patients understand the surgery and recovery process. These classes cover topics such as what to expect during surgery, pain management, and post-operative care.

The Day of Surgery

Admission and Preparation

On the day of your surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital and taken to a pre-operative area. Here, you will change into a hospital gown, and the surgical team will prepare you for the procedure. This preparation may include:

  • IV Line: An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted to administer fluids and medications.
  • Anesthesia: You will receive either general anesthesia (puts you to sleep) or spinal anesthesia (numbs the lower body).

The Surgical Procedure

The surgery itself typically takes 1 to 2 hours. During the procedure:

  1. Incision: The surgeon makes an incision over the hip joint.
  2. Removal of Damaged Tissue: Damaged bone and cartilage are removed from the hip joint.
  3. Implantation: The artificial components, usually made of metal, ceramic, and plastic, are implanted to replace the damaged tissue.
  4. Closure: The incision is closed with stitches or staples.

Post-Operative Care

After the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will be monitored as the anesthesia wears off. Pain management is a crucial aspect of post-operative care, and your medical team will provide medication to manage discomfort.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Hospital Stay

Most patients stay in the hospital for a few days after hip replacement surgery. During this time, the medical team will monitor your progress and manage any complications. Physical therapy usually begins soon after surgery to help you start moving and regain strength.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a critical component of recovery. A physical therapist will work with you to develop a personalized exercise program aimed at:

  • Improving Mobility: Exercises to help you walk and move comfortably.
  • Strengthening Muscles: Strengthening the muscles around the hip joint to support stability.
  • Preventing Complications: Techniques to prevent complications such as blood clots.

Home Care and Lifestyle Adjustments

Once discharged from the hospital, you will continue your recovery at home. Here are some tips for a smooth recovery:

  • Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to your surgeon’s instructions regarding wound care, medications, and activity levels.
  • Assistive Devices: Use crutches, walkers, or other assistive devices as recommended.
  • Home Modifications: Make necessary modifications to your home to ensure safety, such as removing tripping hazards and installing handrails.

Long-Term Recovery

Full recovery from a total hip replacement can take several months. During this time, it's important to:

  • Continue Physical Therapy: Regular physical therapy sessions are essential for regaining full function.
  • Stay Active: Engage in low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling to maintain joint health.
  • Monitor Your Progress: Keep regular follow-up appointments with your orthopedic surgeon to monitor your progress and address any concerns.

Potential Risks and Complications

As with any surgical procedure, hip replacement surgery carries some risks. It's important to be aware of these potential complications:

  • Infection: Infections can occur at the incision site or around the artificial joint.
  • Blood Clots: Blood clots can form in the legs or lungs after surgery.
  • Dislocation: In some cases, the new joint may dislocate.
  • Loosening of the Implant: Over time, the artificial components may loosen and require revision surgery.

Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss these risks with you and take steps to minimize them.

When to Contact Your Surgeon

During your recovery, it's important to be aware of any signs of complications and contact your surgeon if you experience:

  • Severe Pain: Pain that is not relieved by medication.
  • Swelling and Redness: Excessive swelling, redness, or warmth around the incision site.
  • Fever: A high fever that may indicate an infection.
  • Difficulty Breathing: Shortness of breath or chest pain, which could signal a blood clot.


A total hip replacement can significantly improve your quality of life by alleviating pain and restoring mobility. Understanding what to expect before, during, and after the surgery can help you prepare and ensure a smooth recovery. If you're looking for an experienced orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute today for expert care and personalized treatment options.

By following your surgeon's advice and committing to a comprehensive rehabilitation program, you can look forward to a successful outcome and a return to your favorite activities.