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Having Hip Resurfacing

Hip resurfacing is a type of hip surgery. You may need it to replace a damaged hip joint. The procedure is done by an orthopedic surgeon. This is a healthcare provider with extra training in treating bone, joint, and muscle problems.

What to tell your healthcare provider

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take. This includes:

  • Over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen

  • Vitamins

  • Herbs

  • Other supplements

And tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Have had any recent changes in your health. Examples are an infection or fever.

  • Are sensitive or allergic to any medicines, latex, tape, or local or general anesthesia

  • Are pregnant or think you may be

Tests before your surgery

Before your surgery, you may need imaging tests. These may include a CT scan, ultrasound, X-rays, or MRI. Your healthcare provider will tell you more about these tests.

Getting ready for your surgery

Talk with your healthcare provider about how to get ready for your surgery. You may need to stop taking medicines such as blood thinners and aspirin before the procedure. If you smoke, stop before your surgery. Smoking can make your healing last longer. Talk with your healthcare provider if you need help to stop smoking.

Also make sure to:

  • Ask a family member or friend to take you home from the hospital

  • Follow any directions you are given for not eating or drinking before surgery

  • Follow all other instructions from your provider

You will be asked to sign a consent form. This gives your surgeon permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully. Ask questions if something is not clear.

Planning for recovery

You will also need to plan some changes at home to help you recover. Talk with your healthcare provider about what to expect. You may need to:

  • Go to a rehab facility or have rehab at home

  • Get extra help at home with bathing and dressing, making meals, or shopping

  • Make changes to your home to prevent falls and make your recovery easier. This might be a raised toilet seat, grab bars, or handrails.

On the day of your surgery

Your orthopedic surgeon will work with a team of nurses and other healthcare providers. The surgery can be done in several ways. This surgery may be done in one cut (open surgery). Or it may be done with one or a few smaller cuts (minimally invasive). Ask your provider about the details of your surgery. The surgery may take 2 hours. In general, you can expect the following:

  • You will likely have general anesthesia. This is a medicine that allows you to sleep through the surgery. You won’t feel any pain during the surgery. Or you may have medicine to numb the area (regional anesthesia). And you may have medicine to help you relax and sleep (sedation) through the surgery.

  • After cleaning the skin, the surgeon makes a cut (incision) through the skin and muscles near the hip.

  • The surgeon takes the femoral head out of the joint socket. They trim the head with special tools. A metal cap is cemented over the head.

  • The surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from the joint socket.

  • The surgeon places a metal cup into the socket. Screws may be used to hold it in place.

  • The surgeon places the femoral head back in the socket.

  • The surgeon closes the layers of muscle and skin with stitches or staples.

  • A healthcare provider will watch your heart rate and blood pressure during the surgery.

  • You may be given antibiotics during and after the surgery. This is to help prevent infection.

After your surgery

Talk with your surgeon about what you can expect after your surgery. You will likely have X-rays taken of your hip before you leave the hospital. This is to check the repair.

Recovering at home

You will have some pain after the surgery. Your healthcare provider will tell you what pain medicine you can take. You can also use ice packs to help ease pain and swelling. You might have some fluid draining from your incision. This is normal.

You will get instructions about how you can move your hip and leg. You may need to use crutches, a cane, or walker for a few days or weeks.

Follow all your healthcare provider’s instructions. Your surgeon may tell you to:

  • Take prescription medicine to prevent blood clots

  • Not take some medicines for pain that may delay bone healing

  • Eat foods high in calcium and vitamin D to help with bone healing

Follow-up care

Keep all your follow-up appointments. You may need to have your stitches or staples removed a week or so after your surgery.

You may have physical therapy. This is to improve the strength and movement of your leg. It improves your chances of a full recovery. The therapy may include treatments and exercises. You will likely be able to return to some of your normal activities within 6 weeks after the surgery.

You may need another hip surgery 10 to 20 years after your first hip surgery. You can help delay the follow-up surgery by doing regular exercise and preventing falls.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Chills

  • Calf pain or swelling

  • Redness, swelling, or fluid leaking from your incision that gets worse

  • Pain in your hip or leg that gets worse

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.