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. 


Hip replacement surgery

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.

Next Steps

Contact your GP or health professional to discuss your options