Preparing for Surgery

This page is an overview of what to expect when coming to stay in hospital, the hip surgery itself and the inital stages of recovery.


Pre–operative Assessment

You will need to attend a pre–operative assessment clinic for a clinical evaluation, investigations and physiotherapy guidance and training prior to your admission to hospital.


You may be admitted the night before or on the morning of surgery. The anaesthetist will meet with you to discuss what to expect, the type of anaesthetic and any potential problems relating to anaesthesia.

The Operation

You will be taken to the operating room on a stretcher. Primary hip replacement surgery takes approximately an hour and you may be in the operating room for an additional thirty minutes or so for anaesthesia and other necessary procedures before the operation. After leaving the operating room you will be taken to recovery where you will be closely monitored for an hour or so prior to returning to your room.

Post–operation and discharge

On return to the surgical ward from the operating room there will be a wedge shaped foam pillow or splint between your legs to keep your hip in the correct position. In order to prevent blood clots and circulation problems you may wear special support stockings. Calf or foot pumps may be used and/or you may have daily injections of a blood thinning substance. If a wound drain is necessary this will be removed on day one and post-operative radiographs will be taken to assess the position of your total hip replacement.

By the first day most patients will have had their intravenous drip removed. If a bladder catheter has been necessary then this is usually removed when the patient is mobile.

Dressings covering your incision are usually changed daily or more often if required.

At discharge you will be able to go home in a car. It may be best to have some help when you return for follow–up appointments but it is unlikely you will need constant attention.

Go to recovery and rehabilitation