Learning About Partial Hip Replacement Surgery

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Normal hip and partial hip replacement

What is partial hip replacement?

During partial hip replacement, your doctor replaces the ball of your hip joint, but not the socket. The artificial part is made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. This type of surgery is done to repair certain types of hip fractures.

How long does the surgery take?

Surgery may take 1 to 3 hours.

How is partial hip replacement done?

Partial hip replacement surgery is done through one or two cuts (incisions). The cuts are often on the side or toward the back (posterior) of your hip. You may have anesthesia to block pain and medicine to make you drowsy. Or you may get medicine to make you sleep. Your doctor will then:

  • Remove the damaged bone tissue and cartilage from the hip joint.
  • Replace the ball at the upper end of your thighbone (femur).

What can you expect after partial hip replacement?

On the day of surgery, you'll get out of bed with help. You will learn how to walk with a walker or crutches. By the time you leave the hospital, you will be able to safely sit down and stand up, dress yourself, use the toilet, bathe, and use stairs.

When you go home, you will be able to move around with crutches or a walker. But you will need someone to help you at home for the next few days or weeks until your energy returns and you can move around better.

You will be in a rehab program. Your physical therapist will get you started and teach you exercises. Then you will do them on your own.

Rehab often lasts a few months, including exercises you do at home. It's not easy, and it takes time. Many people say that it's like "having a second job."

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.