Total Hip Replacement Surgery

When non-surgical treatment for your hip arthritis is no longer effective, I will discuss with you the role of a total hip replacement. The decision to proceed with surgery will be made collaboratively, between you, your family/whānau, primary care doctor, and myself.

Total hip replacement surgery involves removing the damaged bone and cartilage and replacing it with prosthetic components.

The damaged socket (acetabulum) will be prepared to receive a metal socket. The damaged ball (femoral head) will be removed, and a metal stem will be placed into the thigh bone (femur). A ceramic ball and liner will be inserted on to the stem and socket, forming the artificial joint. In some instances, I may use bone cement to help fix the prosthesis on to your bone, depending on your age, bone quality, and indication for surgery.

Total hip replacement
Total Hip Replacement Surgery video

Reproduced with permission from Visual Health Solutions. © 2022 Visual Health Solutions

What are the indications for hip replacement?

  • Pain that prevents you from performing everyday activities, including walking, climbing stairs and leisure activities/hobbies.
  • Pain even at rest, especially at night preventing you from sleeping
  • Stiffness in the hip, causing difficulty with daily activities, including putting shoes and socks on, getting in/out of cars.
  • Failure of non-surgical treatments.


Significant improvements in pain and function can be expected following surgery.

Realistic activities following total hip replacement include unlimited walking, swimming, golf, driving, biking, and other low-impact sports.

Your hip replacement is at risk of dislocations (when the ball comes out of the socket). The dislocation risk is highest in the first few months after surgery, but there always exists a small risk of dislocation in your lifetime. Therefore, I would expect you to refrain from any activities which puts your hip at risk of dislocation (activities requiring extreme bending/rotation of the hip, such as yoga, deep squats).

Risks and potential complications video

Reproduced with permission from Visual Health Solutions. © 2022 Visual Health Solutions

For more information on what to expect after your joint replacement surgery:

– click to download After Your Joint Replacement Surgery handout.

– click to download Hip Precautions For Everyday Activities handout.

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9am - 5pm
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03 390 0010


Elmwood Orthopaedics
Level 3, 11 Caledonian Road
Saint Albans, Christchurch 8014