All about hip replacement surgery.

Hip replacement surgery (also called hip arthroplasty) is usually performed in patients with severe pain due to osteoarthritis.

Hip replacement surgery is the best option for relieving pain, restoring lost mobility, correcting hip deformity and improving the quality of life of the patient.

The success rate in hip replacement surgery is very high. The risk of infection of the prosthesis occurs only in 1% or 2% of cases.

Which patients should have hip replacement surgery ?

Hip replacement surgery (arthroplasty) involves replacing a worn out hip affected by osteoarthritis, or other degenerative diseases, with an artificial prosthesis.

Hip replacement is usually carried out on patients suffering from severe pain due to osteoarthritis. It is the best option to relieve pain, regain mobility, correct hip deformation and improve the patient’s quality of life.

In most cases, patients who undergo hip replacement surgery are older than 50 years, but it is increasingly common to find younger patients.

Orthopedic surgeons at the Diagonal clinic in Barcelona (Spain) will tell you if, in your case, a hip replacement surgery is necessary. We will also provide you with the cost of the hip replacement surgery.

In less advanced cases, it is possible to perform an arthroscopy (minimally invasive technique) that allows the cartilage cleaning and also delays the placement of a hip implant (also called hip prosthesis).

Partial hip replacement, total hip replacement or resurfacing (surface prosthesis)?

The partial hip replacement surgery only replaces the femoral head, leaving the pelvis intact. It is usually used in elderly people with low physical activity. It is a less aggressive intervention than the total hip replacement surgery. Its duration is shorter and it has a lower risk of bleeding. However, it has worse functionality to perform normal physical activity.

The total hip replacement surgery replaces both the head and neck of the femur, as well as the acetabulum. This type of hip implant is used in people who need good mobility in their hips because they are young and active. A partial hip implant could give too limited mobility. A total hip implant is also used if, apart from the fracture, the patient has significant osteoarthritis of the hip.

The resurfacing (surface prosthesis) replaces the head of the femur and the acetabulum, covering them with metal material (metal-metal surface prosthesis). This type of hip implant is usually placed in younger patients. By preserving bone, the patient’s recovery is greater, the risk of dislocation is less, and the material is more durable. Over time, the surface prosthesis facilitates other revision or change surgeries. Throughout his life, a young patient may need at least a couple of hip replacement surgeries, hence the importance of saving as much bone as possible. Resurfacing implants are indicated in patients who wish to continue performing intense physical activity, whether at work or in their leisure time, after implanting a hip implant.

Orthopedic surgeons at the Diagonal clinic in Barcelona (Spain) will advise you on the type of hip implant that best suits your case. We will also tell you the cost of a hip replacement surgery.

What materials are used in total hip replacements?

The material used to perform hip replacement surgery (arthroplasty) depends on many factors, including the characteristics of the patient and his age. Among the most used materials at the Diagonal clinic in Barcelona (Spain) are metal; stainless steel; cobalt, chrome and titanium alloys; polyethylene and ceramic.

These materials allow a very similar mobility to that of the damaged joint.

What are the risks of hip replacement surgery ?

As in all surgical procedures, hip arthroplasty presents certain risks. However, many of them can be minimized by following the recommendations of the orthopedic surgeons at the Diagonal clinic in Barcelona (Spain).

The main risks of hip replacement surgery (arthroplasty) are bleeding and infection. To minimize the risk of infection, intravenous antibiotics are administered one hour before surgery and 24 hours after surgery. To avoid the risk of dislocation, it is advisable not to do postures such as crossing your legs or sitting in very low chairs. There is finally the risk of loosening of the hip implant. It can be caused by the natural wear of the implant, an overload, fractures or an infection. In these cases it will be necessary to replace the hip implant totally or partially.

What is the success rate of hip replacement surgery ?

Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed today by Orthopedic surgeons at the Diagonal clinic in Barcelona (Spain). Hip replacement surgery improves the life expectancy of the patient and relieves him of the symptoms caused by osteoarthritis of the hip.

The success rate in Spain as well as in the rest of European countries is very high. Hip implant infection occurs in only 1% or 2% of cases.

What are the stages of hip replacement surgery?

Preparation for hip replacement surgery

Once the date of the hip replacement surgery has been specified, the patient must go to the Diagonal clinic facilities in Barcelona (Spain) to carry out a series of preoperative examinations. You will have blood tests, telemetry, and a profile and axial hip x-ray.

How long does hip replacement surgery last? Is it painful?

The patient will not notice any type of pain during the intervention. Total hip arthroplasty is performed under general or epidural anesthesia. The duration of hip replacement surgery is usually between 1 and 3 hours, being in most cases around an hour and a half.

The immediate postoperative

The recovery period depends on each patient. You are usually encouraged to start walking soon after the intervention. The team of physical therapists will instruct the patient in the rehabilitation and use of crutches. The Diagonal clinic in Barcelona (Spain) schedules a couple of daily rehabilitation sessions throughout the patient’s stay in the clinic. The admission to the clinic is usually 6 days. When discharged, the patient usually leaves the clinic on his own foot, only with the help of crutches.

Living with a hip implant.

Orthopedic surgeons at the Diagonal clinic in Barcelona (Spain) advise following these guidelines to extend the life of your hip prosthesis:

Quit smoking: Tobacco is even more harmful in the case of people with hip prostheses. It increases the risk of the prosthesis becoming infected or loose.

Maintain an adequate weight: Being overweight shortens the life of the hip prosthesis. Its parts wear out sooner.

Do moderate physical exercise: It is important to maintain a certain level of physical activity since a toned musculature will make the hip prosthesis work better. However impact sports can quickly deteriorate or displace your hip prosthesis.

Carry out periodic reviews: the reviews allow future complications to be detected in time.

Monitor infections: A hip prosthesis has a high risk of being invaded by bacteria. To avoid infections, it is necessary to heal wounds well, maintain good body hygiene, especially teeth and hands hygiene.

Avoid falls: An impact on the hip prosthesis can dislodge some of its parts. It can also break the bone in which it is implanted, or break some of its components.

Will I be able to play sports after hip replacement surgery ?

People who want to play sports after the intervention, must take into account several aspects. Contact sports can quickly deteriorate or displace the hip prosthesis. Non-recommended impact sports include: jogging and soccer (although it is adapted for veterans).

However, each patient is unique and there are numerous documented cases of patients who were able to practice sports with caution between 6 and 9 months after the intervention. Still, risks are present. The fact that the person has previously practiced sport reduces the probability of injury. There is a long list of sports that are not incompatible with a hip prosthesis: steps, walking, cycling, dancing, skiing, Pilates, among others.

In conclusion, everything depends on the age, the physical shape of the patient and type of prosthesis used.

The Diagonal clinic in Barcelona (Spain) has specialists in sports medicine. Many athletes attend to our facilities for clinic’s consultations or to undergo different surgeries. If your passion is playing sports you can be sure that our experts will know how to give you the necessary guidelines so that you can continue practicing your sport with caution.

FAQ about hip replacement surgery:

How long do hip prosthesis last?

Despite the fact that prostheses have a limited life, current materials are increasingly resistant. The average duration of a hip prosthesis is estimated to be between 15 and 20 years, even when subjected to regular physical activity. Some factors that influence its duration are: the material and fixation used; the weight of the patient; and the physical activity they perform. A hip prosthesis can last less when a complication arises. But there are also cases in which it can go up to 25 years.

Can I undergo a hip replacement surgery if I am allergic to metals?

In the case of patients allergic to metals, orthopedic surgeons at the Diagonal clinic in Barcelona (Spain) will identify, through a series of tests, which metals the patient is allergic to in order to assess which is the most suitable alloy. There are hip implants that are made with different alloys and materials (titanium, aluminium, chrome, cobalt) and it is possible to use hypoallergenic materials.

How can I tell if the hip implant is loosening?

If the hip implant is severely worn or loosening, the patient usually notices pain in the groin or in the thigh. Other symptoms may be a feeling of instability and hip clicking or noise when walking.

Can both hips be operated at the same time?

It is possible to operate both hips but not at the same time. Each intervention requires its own rehabilitation process. Therefore, the surgery will always be carried out in two stages.  Surgeons advise to wait 4-6 months between the first hip surgery and the second. Everything will depend on the evolution of the patient.

Is there an alternative to hip replacement surgery ?

In advanced stages, hip replacement surgery is the most appropriate treatment. In less advanced cases, and depending on each patient, it is possible to perform an arthroscopy. It is a minimally invasive technique that allows the cartilage to be cleaned, and also delays the placement of a hip prosthesis.

What are the benefits of minimally invasive surgery techniques?

The minimally invasive surgical techniques for hip replacement surgery currently used allow for a shorter hospital stay. The average stay is 4 days. Minimally invasive techniques also decrease the risk of bleeding; recovery is faster and less painful. 48 hours after surgery, most patients control pain with paracetamol and conventional anti-inflammatory medication.

Can you live normal life after a hip replacement?

The patient is usually accompanied by two crutches during the first 2 to 4 weeks after the intervention. Then, for about 3 more weeks the patient will use a single crutch. Rehabilitation exercises may be necessary to regain maximum mobility. After one year, the controls will begin to be annual or biannual, depending on the indications of the specialist.

I am a foreign patient. Will the medical personnel speak my language?

Qualified personnel are placed at your disposal and they will advise you in your language and accompany you during all the hospital process. In case the doctor does not speak your language, a personal interpreter can accompany you throughout all your visits.

How much does hip replacement surgery cost?

The cost of hip replacement surgery depends on many factors. We would be delighted to answer your query.

Please, fill in the contact form. If you have any medical reports from other centres, we would appreciate it if you could send these tests to us by email so we can offer you the solution that best suits your needs. You can be sure that this information will always be treated with the maximum confidentiality.

Hip replacement surgeons at Diagonal Clinic (Barcelona, Spain)

Doctor Martín Casola, Daniel

Doctor Martín Casola, Daniel

Hip replacement surgeon. Specialist in arthroplasty, hip and knee replacement, osteosynthesis, arthroscopy acromioplasty and stem cell transplantation
Doctor Aláez Penina, Jaume

Doctor Aláez Penina, Jaume

Hip replacement surgeon. Specialist in arthroplasty, hip, knee and shoulder replacement and treatment of scapulohumeral periarthritis
Doctor Norberto Bayona, Eduard

Doctor Norberto Bayona, Eduard

Hip replacement surgeon. Specialist in arthroplasty, hip and knee replacement and fracture surgery
Doctor Salvans Giralt, Xavier

Doctor Salvans Giralt, Xavier

Hip replacement surgeon. Specialist in arthroscopic surgery, arthroplasty, hip and knee replacement, osteosynthesis and sports orthopedics and traumatology
Doctor Valls Elias, Artur

Doctor Valls Elias, Artur

Hip replacement surgeon. Specialist in arthroscopic surgery, arthroplasty, hip, knee and shoulder replacements, osteosynthesis and sports orthopaedics and traumatology
Doctor Garcia Bonet, Jordi

Doctor Garcia Bonet, Jordi

Hip replacement surgeon. Specialist in arthroscopic surgery, arthroplasty, hip and knee replacement, foot surgery (halux valgus, finger deformities) and pediatric orthopedics
Doctor González Navarro, Albert

Doctor González Navarro, Albert

Hip replacement surgeon. Specialist in arthroscopic surgery, arthroplasty, hip and knee replacement and osteosynthesis
Doctor Sánchez Navés, Rubén

Doctor Sánchez Navés, Rubén

Hip replacement surgeon. Specialist in upper limb surgery, arthroscopy and hip, knee, shoulder and elbow replacement surgery
Doctor Rios Torondell, Joan

Doctor Rios Torondell, Joan

Hip replacement surgeon. Specialist in arthroscopic surgery, arthroplasty and knee replacement

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    Diagonal Clinic - Barcelona Espain - traumatology and orthopedic surgery - Clínica Diagonal

    Diagonal Clinic

    Carrer de Sant Mateu 24, 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona, Spain)

    Nearest Metro Stations: Can Vidalet / Pubilla Cases

    Diagonal Clinic - Barcelona Espain - traumatology and orthopedic surgery - Clínica Diagonal