Julian Stoddart

Total Hip Replacement



What Is A Total Hip Replacement?


A total hip joint replacement is an operation to replace the ball and socket that form the hip joint. The natural ball (head of the femur) is removed and replaced with a ceramic or metal ball.  This is attached to a stem which sits inside the thigh bone.  The socket is replaced with a metal or plastic socket, that often comes as an inner and outer shell.  This allows the inner bearing surface to be of a different material to the outer shell that contacts the bone.

Hip replacements are either press fit into the existing bone or secured with bone cement.




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The component parts of a hip replacement showing two cup options, an uncemented cup (A) and a cemented cup (B). The stem and its parts (C).




Who Benefits From A Total Hip Replacement?


THJR surgery benefits patients with arthritis of the hip joint who have failed non-surgical treatment.  The most common type of hip arthritis is osteoarthritis.  The main indication for a hip replacement is pain.


There are no absolute age restrictions for hip replacement.  It is generally preferable to be over 50 years old but the operation works just as well in younger people.  The main reason for trying to avoid a hip replacement at a young age is that the replacement has a limited life span. Hips do not last as long in younger patients.  While hips can be replaced more than once each successive replacement is more difficult, has more risk and a less certain outcome.


Patients must be fit enough to undergo a major operation while active infection precludes a hip replacement.




A normal hip (A) has a smooth joint surface


An arthritic hip (B) has a broken down joint surface


Damage seen when the ball is removed from the socket (C)




What Is Involved For The Patient?


  • Usually three to four nights in hospital

  • A general anaesthetic

  • The operation takes 60 - 70 minutes

  • An incision curving from the side of the hip into the buttock

  • Fully weight bearing after surgery

  • Crutches for three to six weeks

  • No driving for four weeks




The replaced hip




What Is The Recovery Period?


Patients regain mobility quite rapidly after a hip replacement.  The first six weeks can be quite tiring but improvement is usually rapid.  Heavy work is not recommended until four to six months.  It takes a full year to realise all the benefits of a hip replacement.




What Is The Success Rate Of A Total Hip Replacement?


Over 9 out of 10 patients who have a hip replacement are satisfied.  Hip replacement ranks second only to cataract surgery (no one wants to be blind!) in terms of patient satisfaction.


  • Many patients forget they have even had a hip replacement

  • Patients can return to low impact sports like bowls and golf

  • The operation is excellent for pain relief

  • Hip replacement can restore intimate relationships previously lost due to physical pain

  • Over 90% of new hips are still functioning 10 years after the surgery

  • Hips have a higher failure rate in younger patients




What Are The Risks Of A Total Hip Replacement?


All operations carry some risk.  Total hip replacement is a safe operation but occasionally complications occur.


Risks common to all operations include:


  • Infection

  • Blood clots in the legs

  • Bleeding

  • Damage to surrounding nerves and blood vessels


Risks particular to total hip replacement include:


  • Hip instability (the hip replacement dislocating)

  • Leg length inequality

  • Fracture of bones around the hip replacement

  • Damage to the sciatic nerve

  • Loosening of the hip components




Why Have Julian Perform Your Total Hip Replacement?


Julian performs this operation frequently. He uses computer navigation to help ensure exact positioning of the socket. This reduces the risk of dislocation of the hip.  It also results in very accurate leg length measurement reducing the risk of leg length inequality.


Julian performs both cemented and uncemented hip replacement depending on the needs of each specific patient.


Julian keeps a detailed database of patient outcomes so a baseline is established for assessing the long term performance of the replaced joint.


If you choose to have your hip replacement with Julian you will be well informed (with verbal and written material) on the benefits, risks and outcomes of the procedure.  Patient education is one of Julian areas of interest.




I Think I May Benefit From A Total Hip Replacement


If you think you may need a total hip replacement please arrange a consultation with Julian Stoddart.  You will receive a comprehensive assessment of your hip to determine if this operation is right for you.




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