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Unilateral Hip Replacement Surgery in India

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Unilateral hip replacement surgery is a procedure where only one hip joint is replaced with an artificial implant, typically done to address conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or hip fractures.

Why Would Someone Need to Have Unilateral Hip Replacement?

Unilateral hip replacement is necessary when one hip joint is severely damaged or diseased. Common reasons include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, hip fractures, congenital disorders, tumors, traumatic injuries, and failed previous hip surgeries. The surgery aims to relieve pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall hip function for a better quality of life.

Conditions that can require Unilateral Hip Replacement

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Avascular Necrosis

  • Hip Fractures

  • Congenital Hip Disorders

  • Failed Previous Hip Surgeries

Requirements & Evaluation for Unilateral Hip Replacement

To qualify for unilateral hip replacement, patients undergo a thorough evaluation. Criteria include severe hip pain, limited mobility, and failed conservative treatments. Factors such as overall health, bone density, and the ability to follow postoperative care contribute to the decision. The goal is to improve function and alleviate pain.

Different Types of Unilateral Hip Replacement

There are different types of unilateral hip replacement procedures, each tailored to the specific needs of the patient. The main types include:

  1. Total Hip Replacement (THR):

Involves replacing the entire hip joint, including the femoral head and acetabulum, with prosthetic components.

  1. Partial Hip Replacement (Hemi-Arthroplasty):

Only replaces the femoral head, leaving the natural acetabulum intact. Suitable for specific hip fractures or arthritis cases.

  1. Hip Resurfacing:

Involves capping the femoral head with a metal prosthesis, preserving more bone. Suitable for younger, active patients.

  1. Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement:

Involves smaller incisions, potentially reducing recovery time and scarring.

  1. Anterior Hip Replacement:

Accesses the hip joint from the front, minimizing muscle damage, and potentially speeding up recovery.

  1. Posterior Hip Replacement:

Involves accessing the hip joint from the back, a traditional approach with well-established results.

The choice of procedure depends on the patient's condition, age, activity level, and the surgeon's preference.

Procedure for Unilateral Hip Replacement

The damaged bone and cartilage in the hip joint are removed during a total hip replacement surgery. The prosthesis is then implanted to replace the hip joint. The surgery can be performed using various surgical approaches, such as posterior, anterior, or lateral.

Before the Procedure

  • Preoperative Assessment: A thorough evaluation of the patient's health, medical history, and hip condition.

  • Diagnostic Imaging: X-rays, CT scans, or MRI to assess the extent of hip damage.

  • Medical Clearance: Ensuring the patient is medically fit for surgery.

  • Discussion with Surgeon: Understanding the procedure, potential risks, and expected outcomes.

After the Procedure

  • Immediate Postoperative Care: Monitoring in the recovery room.

  • Hospital Stay: Typically 1-4 days, depending on the patient's progress.

  • Pain Management: Medications to control pain and discomfort.

  • Early Mobilization: Encouraging movement and walking with assistance.

  • Physical Therapy: Commencing rehabilitation exercises to restore hip function.


  • Infection: Risk of postoperative infection.

  • Blood Clots: Potential for deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

  • Implant Dislocation: Prosthetic components may dislocate.

  • Nerve or Blood Vessel Injury: Rare but possible during surgery.

  • Anesthesia Complications: Adverse reactions to anesthesia.


  • Pain Relief: Alleviation of chronic hip pain.

  • Improved Function: Restoration of hip joint mobility.

  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Increased ability to perform daily activities.

  • Correction of Deformities: Addressing joint deformities or abnormalities.


  • Immediate Postoperative Period: Gradual progression from assisted walking to increased mobility.

  • Physical Therapy: Essential for regaining strength, flexibility, and balance.

  • Weight-Bearing Progression: Gradual return to weight-bearing activities.

  • Follow-up Appointments: Regular monitoring of healing and progress.

  • Long-Term: Full recovery may take several weeks to months, with ongoing improvement over time.


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FAQs Related to Partial Hip Replacement Surgery - Unilateral Hip Replacement

Why is Unilateral Hip Replacement Performed?

It is typically performed to alleviate pain and improve function in patients with conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, or hip fractures.

How Long Does the Surgery Take?

The surgery usually takes about 1 to 2 hours, but the total time can vary based on factors such as the patient's health and the complexity of the procedure.

What is the Recovery Time?

Recovery time varies, but most patients can expect to resume normal daily activities within a few weeks. Full recovery and return to strenuous activities may take several months.

What Materials are Used in the Implant?

Hip implants are typically made of metal, ceramic, or a combination of both, and the socket component may have a plastic liner.

Are There Risks Associated with Unilateral Hip Replacement? 

Like any surgery, there are potential risks, including infection, blood clots, implant dislocation, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. However, these risks are generally low.

How Long Do Hip Replacements Last?

The lifespan of a hip replacement varies, but they are designed to last for at least 15 to 20 years. Factors like the patient's activity level and implant type can influence longevity.

Can I Resume Physical Activities After Surgery?

Yes, after the initial recovery period, most patients can gradually resume physical activities, including low-impact exercises and even some sports. However, high-impact activities may need to be avoided.

What is the Difference Between Unilateral and Bilateral Hip Replacement?

Unilateral hip replacement involves replacing one hip joint, while bilateral hip replacement involves replacing both hip joints. Bilateral surgeries may be done simultaneously or at separate times.

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