Hip replacement surgery

Restoring your mobility for the long term

If arthritis or injury is limiting your everyday activities, such as walking and bending, and you still experience pain when resting, your doctor may recommend hip replacement surgery. It can also overcome the stiffness in your hip that limits your ability to move or lift your leg.

Hip replacement surgery is considered after careful diagnosis of your joint problem. If anti-inflammatory drugs or if other treatments, such as physiotherapy, are providing little pain relief, you may wish to discuss this option with your doctor.

How does hip replacement surgery work?

How does hip replacement surgery work?

When an orthopaedic surgeon performs a total hip replacement, their goal is to give you positive long-term results by:

  • Providing long-term relief from pain,
  • Restoring mobility,
  • Correcting any deformity

Hip replacement surgery involves replacing the head of the femur (the ball at the top of the thigh bone) and the acetabulum (hip socket). 

Typically, the artificial ball and stem is made of a strong metal or ceramic, and the artificial socket is made of polyethylene (a durable, wear-resistant plastic) or metal backed with a plastic liner. 

The artificial joint may be cemented in position, or held securely in the bone without cement. The ball and insert are designed to glide together to replicate the hip joint. 

Total hip replacement 

Watch these two short videos to see how a total hip replacement surgery is performed. 


How long will my new hip last?

How long will my new hip last?

Nearly 30,000 hip replacements are performed each year in Australia and New Zealand and for the vast majority of patients joint replacement provides relief from pain and improved mobility for many years.

Many hip replacements can last 10 to 20 years or more, but all joints wear with time and may require revision surgery. According to the National Joint Replacement Registry in Australia, primary total hip replacements for osteoarthritis have a success rate of 92.8% at 11 years.1

Your activity levels and weight are two factors that influence the rate of wear. Some of the newer materials can mean joint replacements last longer. By understanding the activities to avoid, you can also prolong the life of your new joint.

Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry. Annual Report, Adelaide, AOA 2012.


Is hip replacement surgery right for me?

Is hip replacement surgery right for me?

Surgery is a difficult decision. Talk with your surgeon to understand all the risks and complications before making a decision to undergo total hip replacement, but remember osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease - that means the disease, and your pain, is likely to get worse over time.

Your surgeon can guide you on whether surgery is likely to be beneficial in your situation.

Watch this brief video to see if you might be a candidate for hip surgery. Please note this information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and you need to discuss all options with your doctor.

What can I do about hip pain?

What can I do about hip pain?

Relieving hip joint pain and regaining mobility

There are many things you can do to help relieve your hip pain and keep you active and mobile. The best thing to do is talk to your doctor about which options will benefit you most. To help you discuss treatments, here are some of the options your doctor may discuss with you, depending on your condition and pain levels.

Treatment Options

Are you experiencing hip pain or reduced mobility? Want to know what you can do about it?

This short video gives you some helpful information about treatment options for hip pain. Contact your GP or specialist for more information.

Next Steps

Contact your GP or health professional to discuss your options