After your anaesthetic has been administered you’ll either be unconscious (general anaesthetic) or very drowsy (regional anaesthetic with IV sedation).

Your body is covered with sterile drapes, leaving your hip exposed. A urinary catheter may be put in place.

There are several surgical approaches used for hip replacement. Talk to your surgeon about the pros and cons of each approach and which is right for you. There may be variations on these approaches: 

  • The posterior approach involves an incision through the buttock.
  • The anterior approach goes through the front of the thigh.
  • The anteriolateral approach goes through a small incision on the front or side of the hip.
  • Minimally invasive approaches involve smaller incisions and less tissue damage, but it's currently unclear whether they offer better results.

The damaged parts of your hip are then removed and the bones are shaped to fit the hip prosthesis. Measurements are taken to help ensure your leg length is preserved. The prosthesis is fixed into place.

Before finishing the surgery, your hip is checked for stability, alignment and mobility. Often, a small drain will be put in to remove fluid from the hip. The wound is closed using dissolving stitches or staples. The hip is then dressed with a sterile bandage.

You’re then taken to the recovery room where your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse and breathing) are monitored to ensure they’re stable. Once you’re awake and alert, you’ll be transferred to the ward.

After surgery

What to expect during your hospital stay.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.