The Operation

Once these preparations are complete, you will be transferred to the operating room proper. You will be placed on your side on the operating table and this position will be maintained by means of supports on the front and the back. The whole of the leg will then be cleansed with antiseptic and sterile drapes placed around the hip. Your specialist will then carry out the surgery with the help of one or two assistants.

A cut about 6 inches long is made through the skin on the outer aspect of the hip and upper thigh.

Soft tissue
The fat, muscles and deeper tissues are then carefully separated moving them forwards and backwards to expose the bones of the hip. Some of the ligaments around the hip are cut to expose the hip joint.

Bone work
The hip joint is then dislocated, i.e., the ball of the thigh bone is slipped out from the socket of the pelvis. The natural ball end of the top of the thight bone is removed. The socket is then prepared for inserting the artificial socket by removing a thin layer of bone. The artificial socket is then implanted in one of two ways. Either your specialist will use bone cement to fix a special plastic socket into the bone of the pelvis or use a metal socket without cement. In the latter case, the socket is held in place by jamming a slightly oversized component into the bone with additional screws if necessary. A plastic liner is then inserted into the metal shell. In both these instances, the bearing surface of the socket is of plastic.

The next step in the operation is to replace the natural worn out ball also called the femoral head, with an artificial one. The upper end of the thigh bone is shaped to conform to the stem of the artificial ball. A trial implant is then temporarily placed in the femur bone and the function of the hip checked. If all is satisfactory, an exact replica of the trial implant for permanent fixation is then inserted into the thigh bone. The surgeon will either use bone cement to anchor the artificial ball into the thigh but may use an implant that can be inserted without cement. Once this is completed, the ball is replaced into the socket and that completes the bone work.

The soft tissue coverings of the hip joint are then stitched layer by layer. Occasionally two plastic tubes are placed into the hip joint and brought out through the skin and connected to plastic drainage bottles. Bulky dressings are applied to the wound after which the patient is woken up and transferred to the bed and taken to the Recovery area. Once awake, the patient is taken to their room.