Hip Replacement Surgery Cost and Procedure Information

SUMMARY

Procedure time

1 to 2 hours

Overnight stay

1 to 5 nights

Anaesthetic

General or local (spinal block) with sedation

Recovery time

12 weeks

Hip replacement, also known as total hip arthroplasty, is an operation that replaces a damaged hip with an artificial joint. This can provide great relief from chronic hip pain and conditions like osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia that are not well-managed with other treatment

Why Have Hip Replacement Surgery?

What can a Hip Replacement Achieve?

The main aim of a hip replacement is to improve your quality of life by reducing pain and allowing you to remain active. If your hip replacement is successful, your hip should function much better than before and your mobility should increase. This can therefore help you continue to live life to the fullest and take part in the activities that you enjoy. You may also find that you rely less heavily on painkillers after surgery. All of these factors can help to improve other areas of your life such as your mood and quality of sleep.

Of course, this is not an easy decision to make as it involves having major surgery. Therefore, hip surgery is often suitable for patients who have found no benefit from other methods to control their hip pain such as:

  • Painkillers
  • Physiotherapy
  • Steroid injections

If the above methods have failed, a hip replacement may be a viable option to help manage your hip pain.

How Much Does Hip Replacement Surgery Cost?

Broadly, the price of hip joint replacement with a private orthopaedic surgeon begins around £9,000 and can cost as much as £16,000 or more. Prices can change depending on pre-existing health conditions, the surgeon's expertise and which highly rated CQC hospital the procedure takes place

After the consultation with the surgeon, patients will be given a customised price for their surgery.

This price includes the following:

  • All fees related to your hospital stay
    • Accommodation
    • Nursing staff
    • Surgery theatre cost
    • Physiotherapy
    • Imaging costs
    • Medication
    • Pathology
  • Aftercare
    • 7 days worth of any medication prescribed by your surgeon
    • A standard mobility aid such as crutches or a cane
    • 8 post-operative physiotherapy sessions
    • 1 post-operative x-ray
    • Post-operative appointments with your surgeon

Patients are walked through their price breakdown during the consultation and told what this price includes and what it does not. There are other important factors to a patient's care too:

  • Diagnostic consultations
    • £250 for initial consultations
    • £150 for additional diagnostic consultations
  • Diagnostic imaging scans
    • Estimated £150 per x-ray
    • From £240 for MRI scans

During the consultation, the surgeon will tell the patient what scans they will need before surgery.

Hip Replacement Candidates

Who are the Ideal Hip Replacement Candidates?

A hip replacement may be suitable for patients if they have persistent and troubling hip pain which has not responded to medical treatment or physiotherapy. The ideal hip replacement candidates therefore include patients who:

  • Have a damaged hip due to a condition like arthritis
  • Are in constant, severe pain
  • Have reduced mobility because of their hip
  • Found pain medication and physiotherapy to be unhelpful
  • Can no longer carry out their normal daily routine
  • Have pain that has negatively impacted their mental health and social life.

If patients are considering having a hip replacement, they should try to optimise their health so that they are fit for surgery. As this is a major operation it is important to consider fitness and recovery before deciding to have the procedure. In order to do this, patients should try and ensure that they are:

  • At a stable weight with a BMI of less than 30
  • Stopping smoking and using nicotine products for at least 6 weeks before surgery
  • Doing regular exercise
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Reducing your alcohol intake
  • Stopping the use of any recreational drugs.

Who is Not Suitable for a Hip replacement?

A small number of patients are not good hip replacement candidates. Patients who may fall into this category include:

  • Those with a current serious illness or infection
  • People with severe osteoporosis (brittle bones)
  • People who cannot fully understand or follow the pre and post-operative instructions.

These patients may therefore wish to consider other options. However, this is not to say that if you fall into one of these categories you will never be able to have a hip replacement. For example, an infection can be treated and the surgery performed once it has been cured. The surgeon will speak to you about your suitability for surgery and what the best type of treatment is for you.

The Hip Replacement Procedure

Hip joint replacement surgery takes between 1 to 2 hours to perform, though it can be longer depending on the condition of the hip and if they have had hip surgery previously. Patients may only need a partial replacement, meaning only one part of the hip joint is replaced (either the socket or the ball of the joint).

This overview explains how a full hip replacement is performed, but the general procedure is identical to a partial replacement.

Types of Hip Replacement Incisions

To perform hip joint replacement surgery, the surgeon will make an incision down the side of your hip. The picture below is of a hip replacement scar one year after surgery.

Incisions vary in size and location according to the technique used. Patients will be told where these incisions will be placed well before surgery after consulting with the surgeon.

Types of Artificial Hip Joints

Artificial joints also called prostheses are made of several different materials, including metal and ceramic, like those in the picture below.

The patient and surgeon will discuss the exact type of replacement joint that will be implanted before surgery.



Figure 1:
In order to replace the hip joint, the surgeon must remove the damaged parts of the hip joint that will be replaced.

Figure 2: Once removed, the surgeon reshapes the bone and places a part of the implant into the cup of the joint. They will then attach the ball of the new joint to the top of the leg bone called the femur.

Figure 3: The surgeon then checks that the new joint has a good range of movement and makes any alterations.

Figure 4: As soon as the surgeon is happy with the fit of the joint, the incision is closed and the surgery is done.

Patients will spend up to 5 nights in the hospital after surgery depending on how recovery progresses.

Physiotherapy After Surgery

A physiotherapist will assess the patient when they wake after surgery. They will help them get up and about. They will also show the patient a number of exercises and stretches that will help you regain strength in the hip. When patients are allowed to go home, the surgeon will likely create an individual physiotherapy plan for them to follow. As with their other recommendations, it is important patients follow this plan exactly. Outside of physiotherapy, it’s a great idea to start walking regularly every day as soon as you are able.

Potential Hip Replacement Surgery Risks & Complications

What are the Main Hip Replacement Risks and Complications?

As with any surgery, there are risks and complications that can occur with a hip replacement. It is very important that patients are aware of these and are able to weigh up these risks with the benefits before they choose to go ahead with the treatment. This page outlines the main hip replacement risks and complications. Patients should read these carefully and take a while to think about them when deciding if this procedure is suitable for them.

Bruising & bleeding

Some bruising is common after surgery. This should resolve over the first couple of weeks. You may also experience some minor bleeding from the incision site. This often occurs right after surgery but may occur a few weeks later. However, if you notice significant bruising, pain, or swelling, please inform your surgeon straight away. It is possible that you may have a haematoma, which is a solid collection of blood under the skin. These often develop within 24 hours of surgery and require medical attention. You may be more at risk if you are male, have high blood pressure, or take certain medications.

Infection

Although every effort is made to reduce the risk of infection, it is still possible for one to develop. An infected artificial joint must be treated quickly and may require surgical removal if it becomes severe. You must therefore be aware of the signs of infection. Contact your surgeon right away if you notice any of the following signs:

  1. Feeling feverish with a temperature over 38° C.
  2. Redness at the incision site that is spreading after the first 48 hours.
  3. Yellow pus-like or foul-smelling fluid seeping from the incision.
  4. Increased pain or discomfort that your pain medication does not resolve.

Scarring

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid scarring where the surgeon has made incisions. The size and location of the scars will vary slightly according to the technique your surgeon uses. Usually, you will have one or two scars around your hip. Make sure you ask your surgeon to explain where your final scars will be. Remember that scars will also fade with time. How much they fade will depend on the healing ability of your skin. Your surgeon can also give you some tips on how to care for your wounds and to reduce the scarring that you are left with.

Skin Discolouration

Sometimes the skin where the surgeon has operated on can change colour slightly after the surgery. This should settle over a few months as the area heals.

Nerve Injury

If during the surgery, the nerves in your hip or pelvis are injured, you may lose some feeling or movement in your leg. This is rare and in most cases, temporary. However, even more rarely, more long-term loss of sensation or movement can occur. At Medbelle, we only work with highly skilled and qualified surgeons. This means that you will be at less risk of this occurring.

Hip Dislocation

It is possible for the artificial joint to become dislocated. Although uncommon, this may affect the result of the surgery. When it does occur, displacement of the implant tends to happen 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery. It often only happens once. If it happens more than once, surgery may be needed to re-stabilise the joint. To lower the risk of hip dislocation, avoid crossing the legs or fully bending your hip. For example, avoid sitting cross-legged and bending forwards when in a seated position.

A Difference in Leg Length

After a joint replacement of any type, there is always the possibility that there may be some mismatch between the natural joint and the prosthetic one. In the case of hip replacement procedures, this appears as slightly different leg lengths after the surgery. Even if this is a problem, it is correctable with special shoes or an insole that fits inside the existing shoes to even out the legs.

General Surgical Complications

All surgeries carry some common risks. These include the development of blood clots, nausea and vomiting, and postoperative pain. As the surgery involves the use of an anaesthetic agent, it is also possible that you may develop complications relating to the anaesthetic itself.

It is vital that patients follow their surgeon’s specific aftercare instructions to reduce the risk of these complications occurring.

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