A doctor shows a hip replacement model to an older patient.

Hip replacement surgery

Expert hip replacement surgery at TRIA

Whether it’s for work or for having fun, our hips are involved in almost everything we do. But over time and with use, our hip joints can wear or become damaged. This can keep us from doing things like a favorite yoga class, or even just walking up a flight of stairs.

If hip pain and stiffness are keeping you from the things you love, it might be time to consider a hip replacement. Our team of orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and hip experts are some of the best in the Midwest. People travel from all over the country to get the high-quality care we offer at TRIA.

With the latest in surgery and rehabilitation techniques, we help our patients recover quickly and comfortably. In fact, many of our patients are able to return home the same day as their surgery. Our surgeons will work with you to create a personalized care plan to help you move with comfort and confidence again.

"At all points in the process, the whole TRIA team was excellent. Pre- and post-surgery, I felt like I was completely supported and informed of all of the steps in the process. I don't believe I could have had a better experience with my surgery and recovery."

Why are hip replacements needed?

Our hips are protected by a rubbery tissue called cartilage, which helps the parts of your hip move smoothly and comfortably. As the cartilage wears out or becomes damaged, moving your hips can become painful. An artificial hip removes and replaces the damaged parts of your hip so your joint functions normally, alleviating pain and stiffness.

We’ll only guide you toward a hip replacement if nonsurgical treatments aren’t effectively managing your painful symptoms. Hip replacements may be recommended if you have severe cases of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, certain types of fractures, or other conditions that cause the hips to wear out.

How to know if you need a hip replacement

The best way to know if you need a hip replacement is to talk to an orthopedist. It may be time to talk to a doctor about hip replacement options if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • You can’t manage your hip pain with nonsurgical treatments
  • Your hip pain is becoming more intense and more frequent
  • Your hip pain is making it difficult for you to do normal, daily activities (climbing the stairs, getting up from sitting, walking normal distances)
  • You notice stiffness after extended sitting, like in a car or at a movie theater
  • You’re not able to do the things you love

Types of hip replacements

Hip replacement surgeries we perform include:

Partial hip replacement

For a partial hip replacement, sometimes called a hip hemiarthroplasty, only half of the hip joint is replaced. During this procedure, we replace the thigh bone and femoral ball (the portion of the thigh bone that goes inside the hip socket) with prosthetics. But unlike with a total hip replacement, the hip socket stays intact.

A partial hip replacement surgery may be the best choice for you if you have healthy cartilage in the hip joint and minimal signs of arthritis. We typically recommend partial hip replacements for repairing certain types of hip fractures.

Recovery from a partial hip replacement is similar to a total hip replacement, but usually takes a little longer due to the natural and artificial components in the hip. You should be able to walk without a supportive device within 3-4 weeks after surgery. Expect it to take about 6-8 weeks before you can resume normal household activities.

Total hip replacement

A total hip replacement is performed when the entire hip joint needs to be replaced with artificial components. During the procedure, we remove the damaged cartilage and replace it with a new hip socket and ball joint. This is used when the cartilage in the hip is severely damaged by osteoarthritis or other conditions.

Most patients are able to walk the day of surgery. It normally takes about 3-6 weeks to resume normal household activities and about 12 weeks to resume recreational activities like bicycling or golfing.

Hip replacement revision surgery

Similar to how our natural hip bones experience wear and tear, the original components used in a hip replacement can also break down. When this happens, we may recommend revision hip replacement surgery to exchange the worn components with new ones. In rare cases, a revision surgery may be needed to correct complications from an infection or if the first hip replacement didn’t go as planned.

Hip replacement recovery time

In many cases, our patients go home the same day or the day after surgery. You’ll likely be able to walk with the help of an assistive device like crutches or a walker.

The amount of time it takes you to recover from your hip replacement surgery depends on many different factors, including the type of hip replacement you have, your overall physical health and your level of mobility. Typically, our patients will be able to walk without an assistive device about 3-4 weeks after their procedure and return to normal activities within a few months.

You’ll work closely with your orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist and other members of your care team to make sure you’re healing as expected. We’ll be there to help you throughout the entire recovery.

Most of our patients are able to recover in their own homes. When that isn’t and option, recovering nearby in a hotel might be the best choice. With our Hotel Recovery Program, you’ll go to a comfortable hotel room after your surgery and we’ll bring the follow-up care directly to you.

Physical therapy after a hip replacement

Exercise is an important part of hip replacement recovery. You may work with a physical therapist after your hip replacement surgery.

A physical therapist can lead you through exercises, use manual therapy, and teach you how to move comfortably and confidently on your new hip. Our patients usually have sessions with our physical therapists for the first three months after surgery. Your personalized physical therapy plan will help you build strength and mobility so you can get the most out of your new hip for years to come.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

There are many nonsurgical treatment options for joint pain. We’ll usually recommend medication, injections or physical therapy before guiding you to hip replacement surgery.

In many cases, hip pain can be managed with these more conservative treatments. If surgery is the best treatment for you, we’ll answer your questions and help you prepare for your procedure.

Hip replacements usually last 20 years or more. However, the more you use your artificial hip, the more quickly it may wear out. The amount of time a hip replacement lasts varies from person to person and depends on many factors, including the age you are when you get your replacement and your activity level. When you come in for your surgical consultations, we’ll answer your questions about how long your artificial hip may last and if it’s the best time for you to have your hip replaced.

Taking steps to prepare for your hip replacement can help make your recovery more comfortable and less stressful. If you’re not sure how to prepare, use these tips as a starting point.

  • Follow your care team’s instructions. In most cases, we’ll recommend exercises to do before your hip replacement surgery, sometimes called “prehab.” These exercises help strengthen the muscles around your joint, which can make rebuilding strength and mobility after your surgery easier.
  • Prepare your home. During the first few weeks after surgery, you’ll need crutches or a walker to move around your home. Before you have your surgery, remove any tripping hazards and clear a wide walking path.
  • Reach out to your loved ones. It will take a few weeks before you’re able to perform normal household chores and run errands. Before you have your hip replacement surgery, reach out to friends, family, coworkers or neighbors for help with cooking, chores, pet care and anything else that might be difficult to do while you heal.
  • Arrange a ride home from surgery. If you need help getting a ride, our team will help you find a way to get home safely.
  • Pack a bag. While many of our patients go straight home after surgery, some recover at a nearby hotel or the hospital. Gathering necessary items like your photo ID, comfortable clothes, cell phone charger and other comforts will ensure you have everything you need after your procedure.

It’s important to remember that you’ll need a lot of help during your recovery. After a hip replacement surgery, your mobility will be limited which also limits your ability to drive, do chores and care for yourself or others in your household. Having someone in your life to help care for you is a key part of your recovery plan.

Patients often tell us they aren’t sure who to ask to help them after their surgery. Any capable adult can lend a hand during your recovery. We recommend asking your neighbors, coworkers, family members or friends.

How quickly you’ll get back to your usual routines depends on the type of hip replacement surgery you had, your physical ability and your mobility level. In most cases, you can expect to walk with an assistive device for the first 4-12 weeks after surgery.

You’ll likely be able to do household chores and day-to-day activities after about 3-6 weeks. In a few months, most of our patients are able to do gentle, low-impact activities like cycling, longer walks and swimming.

In most cases, hip replacements are performed as posterior surgery. This means that you’ll be on your side during surgery so we can safely and easily access your hip. Posterior hip replacement surgery is minimally invasive and the most common way hip replacements are performed.

We can also perform anterior hip replacements. During this type of surgery, you’ll lay on your back. This enables us to move your leg during the procedure and gives us room to work around healthy muscles and tendons. Because of this, anterior hip replacements are sometimes called “muscle sparing.” This type of surgery takes longer and is more technically difficult than posterior surgery.

Before your surgery, we’ll talk with you about how we will perform the surgery and answer any questions that you have about the procedure.

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, PreferredOne and many others.

You can check with your insurance to see if your plan covers part or all of the services needed. Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are member services numbers to help you get started: