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Total hip replacement

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Who needs a hip replacement? Anyone who experiences stiffness or pain in his or her hip joint that can’t be relieved by medication and is unable to walk even a short distance.

This pain is usually caused by damage to the hip joint from degenerative arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and avascular necrosis (death of the femoral head).

A hip replacement typically produces good results. Compared to 20 years ago, for example, a hip replacement can be done through smaller incisions with less intrusion.

 During the procedure, a surgeon replaces the damaged ball and socket with a new ball and socket made from metals, plastics and/or ceramics. 

The materials vary based on the patient’s age and activity level.

The experts at Marshfield Clinic receive special training in hip replacement and other procedures to reduce hip pain.

To keep hips healthy, keep them moving. Change positions often when you are reading or watching TV. 

If you work at a desk, take frequent breaks. Get up and walk around to avoid stiffness.​

Before Surgery

Total joint replacement – bring your total joint replacement binder with you on the day of surgery.

Enlist a coach - your coach will provide emotional and physical support along with transportation on the day of discharge and for your follow-up appointments.

Pre-surgery exercises - start your pre-operative exercises. They are very important to do and can aid in a quicker recovery after surgery.

Dental needs - visit your dentist six months or less before surgery.

Report the following - report any infections or open cuts 24 – 48 hours before surgery day.

Medical leave papers - bring your medical leave papers to Orthopedics at least one month before your surgery date so they can be completed before your surgery.

Medications - stop the following medications 3 – 10 days before surgery unless told otherwise during your pre-operative physical exam:

  • Aspirin
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Coumadin
  • Plavix

Skin prep before surgery - shower or take bath with the CHG soap that was provided. Use this soap the evening before surgery and the day of surgery.

Prescription medication instructions - if you are instructed to take Coumadin, the evening before surgery, do so following your surgeon's instructions.

Eating and drinking restrictions:

  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
  • The morning of surgery take your medications with only sips of water.

After Surgery

How to recognize and prevent complications.

Infection signs:

  • Increased swelling and bright redness in the surgical area
  • Change in color, amount, or odor of drainage
  • Increased pain in surgical area
  • Fever greater than 102°F - take your temperature

Symptoms of a blood clot

Blood clots can be in your leg or arm:

  • Swelling in thigh, calf, ankle, arm, hand or shoulder that does not go down with elevation.
  • Pain, heat, and tenderness in calf, back of knee, or groin area.

How to prevent a blood clot:

  • Ankle pumps
  • Walk
  • Exercise hands or arms
  • Take prescribed blood thinners

Pulmonary embolus (blood clot in lungs)

A blood clot in your lung is an emergency. Go to the emergency room or call 911 if a blood clot is suspected.

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolus:

  • Sudden chest pain or chest discomfort
  • Difficult and/or rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Confusion

Prevent a pulmonary embolus (blood clot):​

  • Ankle pumps
  • Walk
  • Take prescribed blood thinners
Request Appointment

Contact us for care

If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

Call: 1-866-520-2510

(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

 time for a new joint When to consider knee or hip replacement

Arthritis commonly causes joints to become painful and stiff because cartilage – the tissue that protects bones in a joint – breaks down and wears away. Treatment usually starts by trying more conservative approaches such as medication, physical therapy and changes to physical activity before considering joint replacement surgery... Read more


 Comfort & Recovery Suites

Your procedure may qualify for a stay in a Comfort and Recovery Suite. Ask your doctor for more details.

Comfort & Recovery Suite Locations

Questions and Answers (PDF)

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