Total Hip Replacement at St. Vincent's

Hip replacement is one of the most important surgical advances, helping more than 250,000 people each year to relieve pain and get back to enjoying normal, everyday activities. Hip replacement surgery may be considered when arthritis limits your everyday activities such as walking and bending, when pain continues while resting or stiffness in your hip limits your ability to move or lift your leg. 

The expert orthopaedic surgeons of St. Vincent's Medical Center specialize in hip replacement surgery and The Orthopaedic Center at St. Vincent’s is certified by The Joint Commission for our joint replacement program for hip and knee.


Are You Ready for Hip Replacement?

  • You have hip/groin pain that keeps you awake, or awakens you, at night.

  • You have hip pain that limits activities necessary to go about your daily activities (getting up from a chair, climbing stairs, etc.).

  • You have hip pain that limits activities that give you pleasure (walking for exercise, traveling, shopping, etc.). 

  • You have tried other treatments for a reasonable period of time, and you still have persistent hip pain.


Types of Hip Replacement

Hip replacement is a metal and plastic covering that replaces the damaged or diseased hip joint. There are many hip replacement designs that are available to the surgeon. Choice of type of prosthesis, fixation technique and bearing surface is based on many factors including age of patient, activity level, bone quality and bone shape.  Most likely, your surgeon will choose one of these three types: Standard Hip Replacement, Hip Resurfacing, or Revision Hip Replacement.

Standard Hip Replacement:

Involves removal of femoral head and neck of the hip, with the replacement options depending on age and activity level of the patient.  This includes: 

  • Stem (attached to ball): cement or uncemented fixation; different stem design options

  • Acetabular shell (socket): mostly uncemented (with or without screws); cemented shells much less common now

  • Bearing Surfaces:  Different combinations of metal, polyethylene, and ceramic are used. The most common bearing combination is metal (ball and socket) on polyethylene (liner), but other combinations can be used. 

Hip Resurfacing:

This procedure involves preserving the femoral head and neck rather than removing it completely as is done with standard hip replacements; less bone is removed. This is an advantage for younger people who may need a second replacement procedure when the first "wears out."  

There is renewed interest in hip resurfacing due to the availability of better materials (metal on metal designs), which may result in higher levels of activity and high satisfaction among younger patients and sports-lovers.

Revision Hip Replacement:

Despite the success of hip replacement surgery, sometimes Hip Revision is necessary due to   injury/fracture, infection and loosening or simply the original replacement wearing down and requiring revision.


What You Can Expect From Hip Replacement Surgery

The typical hospital stay after hip surgery is three days. Most hip replacement patients begin standing and walking with the help of a walking support and a physical therapist the same day as their surgery. Recovery varies with each person. It is essential you follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding home care during the first few weeks after surgery. 

St. Vincent’s uses the latest, most effective techniques to keep you safe and relatively comfortable after surgery.

Potential Risks:

The team at St. Vincent’s Medical Center works hard to prevent complications and while they are rare, there may be some complications related to the surgical procedure including dislocation of the hip, leg length discrepancy, loosening of the prosthesis, nerve injury, fracture and heterotropic bone formation (excess bone growth in reaction to the surgical trauma). Other associated risks include anesthesia complications, blood clot and infection.

Minimizing Blood Clots:

Patients are placed on blood thinners following surgery for a period of time to minimize the risk of blood clots (deep venous thrombosis). Special techniques in the operating room help minimize blood clot risk as well.  Patients with certain medical conditions may be more at risk for blood clots than others. Compression stockings and/or  devices for the legs are provided to help reduce risk of clot formation.  Early mobilization is especially helpful in lowering risk.   

Minimizing Infection:

Total hip replacement infection is rare. Certain medical problems can place patients at higher risk of getting an infection and fighting infection. The incidence is minimized by screening patients prior to surgery, providing appropriate antibiotics, and strict adherence to infection control policies throughout the patient’s hospitalization.

Pain Management:

There are many options for post-op pain management including a referral to a physician who specializes in pain management if needed.

Blood Transfusion:

Some patients may require a blood transfusion after hip replacement surgery.  All blood products are carefully screened and tested by the American Red Cross prior to use and complications from transfusions are rare.


Let the Orthopaedic Center at St. Vincent’s help you get your life back in motion.

The Orthopaedic Center at St. Vincent’s offers a full range of services to help relieve pain and musculoskeletal and nervous system conditions, diseases, or related injuries and assist you in returning to an active lifestyle. You can rely on St. Vincent’s team of highly skilled orthopaedic specialists and neurosurgeons to provide expert diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Contact our Orthopaedic Coordinator at (475) 210-5409 if you have any questions.