OSF Medical Group

Total Hip Replacement

Many people suffering from hip pain, arthritis, stiffness and limited hip movement undergo total hip replacement surgery to alleviate their symptoms.

Before getting into all the details about surgery, it is important to understand the anatomy of the hip. The hip joint is made up of two bones: the femur and the acetabulum, or the socket of the hip bone.

The femur is a long bone with a ball on the end and it fits into the acetabulum.

During a total hip replacement, the diseased joint is surgically replaced with an artificial joint, or prosthesis. The prosthesis is made up of a ball and socket which are commonly made from metal or ceramic.

The socket can also be made of plastic. These materials designed specifically for the human body, so they resist corrosion, degradation, and wear over time.


Symptoms that may lead to a need for total hip replacement include:

  • Persistent pain, despite taking pain medication
  • Pain made worse by walking, despite using a cane or walker
  • Poor sleep due to pain
  • Difficulty going up or down stairs
  • Trouble rising from a seated position
  • Inability to participate in formerly enjoyable activities because of pain


Hip replacement may be necessary when the following conditions are present:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Broken hip
  • Bone tumor
  • Osteonecrosis (inadequate blood supply to the ball portion of the hip joint)

What to Expect

During an office consultation our providers will discuss all treatment options with the patient and the best choice will be recommended.

There are two surgical approaches to consider when the decision to have surgery has been made. The posterior, or from the back, approach is the most conventional method. The anterior, or from the front, approach is the newest method for total hip replacement.

Posterior Approach

During the posterior approach to hip replacement, the surgeon accesses the hip bones from the backside of the patient’s body. The surgeon will go through or separate muscle and tendons from the femur to gain access to the socket.

Anterior Approach

Many people suffering from arthritis, hip pain, stiffness and limited hip movement can now choose one of the least invasive surgical options, the anterior approach to total hip Replacement. The anterior approach is a proven technique that minimizes pain and recovery time.

The anterior approach allows the surgeon to reach the hip joint from the front (anterior) of the patient's body rather than the back as in traditional hip replacement surgery. The surgeon is able to work through the natural intervals between the muscles, sparing the muscle tissue so a healing process is not required. Preserving muscle is what makes the recovery for this surgery much faster. 

Conventional hip replacement surgery typically requires strict precautions for the patient following the procedure. Patients who choose the anterior approach enjoy decreased hospital stays, significantly less pain, immediate function, no motion or weight bearing restrictions, no muscle weakness, lower risk of hip dislocation, and a faster return to full activities. The anterior approach allows patients to use their hip normally without restriction following surgery.

Preparing for Hip Replacement Surgery

Our staff will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have prior to surgery. You may receive a physical examination, including blood and urine tests, to ensure you are in good health for the procedure. Please make sure to bring a complete list of all medications and herbal supplements you are currently taking with you to your appointment.

Please let our staff know if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Pregnant or suspect you are pregnant
  • Allergic to medications, latex, tape, or anesthetics
  • History of bleeding disorders or are taking a blood thinner, aspirin, or other medications that affect blood clotting