Traditional Hip Replacement

Hip replacement surgery involves surgically removing a painful hip joint and replacing it with an artificial joint often made from metal and plastic components. It usually is done when all other treatment options have failed to provide adequate pain relief. The procedure should relieve a painful hip joint, making walking easier.

What happens during hip replacement surgery?

Hip replacement surgery can be performed traditionally or by using what is considered a minimally-invasive technique. The main difference between the two procedures is the size of the incision. Traditional, or standard, hip surgery generally requires an incision 8 to 10 inches long.

During standard hip replacement surgery, patients are given general anesthesia to relax the muscles and induce a temporary deep sleep. This prevents feeling any pain during the surgery or awareness of the procedure. An alternative to general anesthesia is spinal anesthetic to prevent pain.

A cut is made along the side of the hip and the muscles connected to the top of the thighbone are moved to expose the hip joint. Next, the ball portion of the joint is removed by cutting the thighbone with a saw. An artificial joint is attached to the thighbone using either cement or a special material that allows the remaining bone to attach to the new joint.

Any damaged cartilage is removed to prepare the surface of the hipbone and the replacement socket part is attached to the hipbone. The new ball part of the thighbone is then inserted into the socket part of the hip. A drain may be put in to help drain any fluid. The muscles are then reattached and the incision is closed.

Physical therapy usually begins the day after surgery and within days many patients are able to walk with a walker, crutches, or a cane. You will continue physical therapy for weeks to months following the surgery.


The Anderson Family Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence features private patient rooms, an orthopedic navigator, family-centered patient education, rehabilitation specialists and the latest advances in joint replacement surgery.

For more information about our Center of Excellence, call (561) 263-3633. To find a qualified orthopedic surgeon, call our Physician Referral Service at (561) 263-5737.