What Happens During Hip Replacement Surgery?

What Happens During Hip Replacement Surgery?

During hip replacement surgery, damaged cartilage and bone are removed from the hip joint and are replaced with an artificial joint. First, the worn surfaces at the end of the thigh bone are removed using special instruments, and the damaged hip joint is resurfaced with metal and plastic implants including:

  • A CUP which recreates the hip socket (acetabulum) and is attached to the pelvis.
  • A LINER which recreates the smooth cartilage allowing the new ball (femoral head) to glide and rotate.
  • A BALL which attaches to the stem and recreates the ball (femoral head) and,
  • A STEM which is inserted into the thigh bone (femur) and anchors the implant in place.
doctor and patient greeting each other

In 2019 over 1.6 million joint replacement procedures were performed in Australia. Almost 695,000 of which were hip replacements, making hip replacement surgery one of the most common orthopaedic procedures.1

woman doctor consulting with older woman about hip replacement

What Do You Know About Hip Replacement Surgery?

All of the components can be fixed to the bone using bone cement, or if it's a cementless design, it will have a rough, porous surface that allows the bone to grow directly into the coating on the implant. Your doctor will decide what’s right for you based on age, activity level, bone quality and any medical conditions you may have.

Your surgeon will bend and flex the hip to ensure that the implant is working correctly and that the alignment, sizing, and positioning are suitable. Once your new hip is secured, the incision will be closed with stitches or staples.

Procedure Options

There are several options for hip replacement. Your surgeon will advise on the best procedure for you.

Total Hip Replacement

This operation involves removing damaged cartilage at the ends of the femur and tibia and replacing the joint surfaces with metal components.

Revision of Total Hip Replacement

This is a re-operation on a previously performed total hip replacement that has worn out, failed, or become loose. Some or all of the previous components are removed and replaced.

Bilateral Hip Replacement

Both hips are replaced at the same time.


1. Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry (AOANJRR). Hip, Knee & Shoulder Arthroplasty: 2020 Annual Report, Adelaide; AOA, 2020: 1-474. [Accessed from: https://aoanjrr.sahmri.com/annual-reports-2020].


This information is intended for residents of Australia only.

The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always talk to your doctor before you make decisions about your health.

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