Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Mandeep Lamba answers your top FAQs on hip replacement surgery

Mr Lamba, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
The Holly Clinics: Wednesday AM and PM and Thursday PM. 

With around 80, 000 hip replacements carried out in the UK every year, it’s a much more common procedure than most people realise. Added to that NHS figures for England reveal that the number of hip replacement operations on people aged under 60 has risen 76% in the last decade. The Royal College of Surgeons says this is partly because doctors are now more confident that replacement joints will be more durable than in the past.

In this article, Orthopaedic Consultant Mr Lamba Mandeep answers your frequency asked questions (FAQs) about hip replacements. 

When should I talk to my doctor about hip replacement surgery?
You should talk to your doctor about hip replacement surgery if your hip arthritis is causing you significant pain that is not controlled with simple painkillers and/or is interfering with your daily activities or quality of life.

How do I get a diagnosis that I need a hip replacement?
Your doctor will make the diagnosis by firstly asking you questions about your symptoms and by examining your hips. X-rays will then be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

What signs would indicate that I might need a hip replacement?
You may need a hip replacement if your X-rays confirm the diagnosis of arthritis and you experience significant pain in your hip despite having tried non-operative treatment such as simple painkillers, physiotherapy and walking aids.

How common are hip replacements?
A hip replacement is a common type of surgery with approximately 80,000 hip replacements performed each year in the United Kingdom.

What does hip replacement surgery involve?
Hip replacement surgery involves removing your hip joint and replacing it with an artificial hip joint. You may have a general anaesthetic where you will be unconscious for the surgery. Alternatively, you may be numbed from the waist downwards and be awake for the surgery (spinal/epidural anaesthesia). An incision is made over the hip joint in order to access the joint and this is closed with stitches or skin clips at the end of the procedure. The prosthesis may be cemented into place or cementless prostheses may be used which are wedged into the bone.

How long does the operation take and how long will I be in hospital?
The surgery takes around 60 minutes on average. Patients are usually admitted to hospital on the day of the surgery and stay in hospital between three and four days after the surgery.

What other treatments might be considered before hip replacement?
Other treatments that may be considered before hip replacement include painkillers, physiotherapy and walking aids. Injections of steroid and local anaesthetic are sometimes performed, but this is generally a temporary measure. Injections may be used by your doctor to confirm the diagnosis of hip arthritis if it not clear from the X-rays rather than as a treatment. If you are overweight, weight loss may help reduce your symptoms.

What are hip replacements made from and how long do they last?
Hip replacements are made of metal alloys such as cobalt chrome or stainless steel.  A polyethylene (plastic) liner is placed into the hip socket and the ball articulates with this. Alternatively a ceramic head and liner may be used. Hip replacements are expected to last approximately 15 to 20 years, however they may wear or loosen earlier.

Are there any risks with having a hip replacement?
There are risks associated with all surgical procedures. Risks associated with surgery in general include bleeding, infection and nerve or vessel injury. Specific risks associated with hip replacement include dislocation, limb length discrepancy, fracture around the prosthesis and loosening or wear of the prosthesis. Further surgery may be needed if any of these complications occur.

What benefits can I expect to gain through having hip replacement surgery?
Having a new hip joint should:

  • relieve pain
  • improve your ability to move around
  • increase the function of your hip
  • enhance your quality of life.

However each patient is different and it is important to be realistic about the outcomes of your operation. Your consultant will talk through all of this with your before your operation so you are fully aware of how a new hip joint may help you.

How soon will be able to resume normal activities?
Our staff will help you to get up and walk about as quickly as possible after surgery. Some patients are even able to get up and walk the same day as their surgery.

You will need to follow a programme of rehabilitation afterwards but our Physiotherapy Team can teach you exercises to help strengthen your hip and explain how to avoid damaging your new hip. Generally, you should be able to stop using your crutches within four to six weeks and feel more or less normal after three months, by which time you should be able to perform all your normal activities.

An initial consultation with Mr Lamba costs £200, if you don’t have health insurance. Package prices for hip replacement surgery at The Holly start from £8,945. You can read more about package prices here. For more information on self-pay pricing just call our friendly Self-Pay Team on 020 8936 1157 or email To book a consultation, call our friendly appointments team on 020 8936 1201

You will need a referral letter from your GP or you can see one of our Private GPs if you prefer.

You can read more about Orthopaedic services at the hospital here.

Date: 29/07/2016