Total hip replacement surgery (THR) is an effective means of reducing pain and improving quality of life in those suffering from severe osteoarthritis. The procedure includes replacing the joint surface of the femur, known as the femoral head with a prosthesis.

Rehabilitation following a THR is important for a few reasons. Firstly, long standing pain with osteoarthritis makes it harder to participate in certain hobbies and socialise. Because of this, our body becomes deconditioned and we can become fearful of movement, resulting in further loss of function. Rehabilitation after your surgery is a vital part to return to the activities you love.

Secondly, this is a big procedure including a large skin incision and remodelling of your hip joint. Your body will react to this like it would any injury. This means pain, swelling, bruising, loss of strength and range of motion. Rehabilitation is effective at mitigating these effects over time.

Finally, lower limb strength and good general health practices such as general exercise, good sleep and a healthy diet are all key to prolonging the life of the prosthesis.

Who needs a THR?

Those with severe arthritis and the following signs:

  • Severe osteoarthritis with corresponding loss of function, including everyday activities and ability to socialise.
  • Constant pain and interrupting sleep.
  • Joint locking or instability.
  • Pain or quality of life does not improve with conservative management.


  • As with any operation, there are risks involved, your specialist will talk you through your individual circumstances and risks of the following:
  • Blood clots (DVT), which would lead to pulmonary embolism
  • Infection, less than 1 in 100 patients undergoing surgery
  • Dislocation occurs in about 2-3% of people.
  • Fracture during or after surgery
  • Bleeding into the knee joint
  • Numbness to the skin around the incision site
  • Excessive bone formation around the prosthesis

For more information about this surgery and Physiotherapy rehabilitation, please continue reading our blog on Post-Operative Total Hip Replacement (THR) Rehabilitation.


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