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Hip Replacement



A hip replacement is a common operation where a damaged hip joint is replaced with an artificial one (a prosthetic joint). A modern artificial hip joint should last for at least 15 years.

The operation is most common in people over the age of 60 years who have damage to their hip. In most cases the surgery is a planned (elective) procedure rather than an emergency and will achieve a significant improvement in pain and movement.


Causes of damage to the hip joint

Hip replacement is considered when the hip joint is significantly worn or damaged and is causing severe symptoms. Osteoarthritis (worn joints) is the most common reason for hip replacement surgery, but other conditions that can also cause hip joint damage, for instance:

  • a hip fracture.
  • rheumatoid arthritis.
  • ankylosing spondylitis.
  • septic arthritis.
  • bone dysplasia - disorders that cause abnormal bone growth.


Who is offered a hip replacement?

A hip replacement is a major operation, so is only recommended if other treatments, such as physiotherapy or steroid injections, haven't helped. Surgery may be offered if:

  • the hip pain is so severe that it interferes with your quality of life and keeps you awake.
  • your mobility is reduced.
  • everyday tasks (such as getting out of the bath, rising from your chair or shopping) have become very difficult.
  • symptoms are stopping you working or having a normal social life.
  • your symptoms are causing depression.

If you have other serious medical problems which might make it dangerous to have a major operation (and subsequent rehabilitation), you will need to discuss the risks with your medical team


How hip replacement surgery is performed

Firstly, you will receive and anaesthetic, which may be either ‘general’ (asleep) or ‘epidural’ (in which an injection into the spine numbs the lower half of the body).

The surgery itself usually takes around an hour or so to complete. The first step is to make a cut is over the hip, the surgeon will then dissect down to expose the damaged hip joint which is then replaced.  An artificial joint made of a metal alloy or, in some cases, ceramic can then be inserted. Read about how a hip replacement is performed:


Hip replacement surgery: Risks

Complications of surgery include:

  • dislocation
  • fracture of the adjacent bones
  • surgical wound infection
  • injuries to nearby nerves or blood vessels
  • differences in leg length after the surgery
  • early failure of the artificial joint, possibly requiring further surgery
  • ‘medical’ problems such as chest infection or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

However, overall the risk of serious complications is probably less than 1 in a 100.


Alternatives to surgery

Hip surgery is usually performed to improve quality of life and so there is always the option of simply ‘managing’ your symptoms by adjusting your lifestyle and taking painkilling medication.

Another alternative is a more limited form of surgery which involves hip resurfacing: the damaged surfaces inside the hip joint are removed and replaced with a metal surface.  However, it may not be suitable for people at risk of having weaker bones (osteoporosis), for instance: adults over the age of 65 years or women who have gone through the menopause. Contact your medical team for further information


Recovery after surgery

Following surgery, you will be helped to mobilise by the physiotherapy team. You will probably need to use a walking aid, such as a frame or crutches, to help you in the initial period.

An exercise programme may help you recover your hip function following the surgery. It should be possible to return to light work within around 6 weeks. However, recovery times can vary so if you are finding things difficult, you should seek medical advice.

How can we help at Fortuna?

We sell a wide variety of products that may help following hip replacement surgery. Each person is different and it is difficult to predict what will help you – it may be a question of trying them out and seeing what works best. Sometimes you might find that you’ll still want to carry on using the product event when you you’ve recovered from the operation.

We’ve listed some things which might be useful to you – click on the links to learn more about them:

Mobility - products that may help you get around


In the first few weeks you may find it difficult to standing up, particularly if your chair is low. There are a wide range of options which can help. Come and talk to us about what suits you best.


It may be difficult to manage in the bathroom at first following a hip replacement. We have a variety of bathing and toileting aids which can help.

  • Raised toilet seat
  • Raised toilet seat with frame (Mowbray)
  • Toilet frame
  • Grab rails
  • Bath or shower boards
  • Shower stools & seats
  • Long handled sponges

Daily Living

Some everyday things, like dressing, become difficult after hip replacement. Come and see what we have available to help you.

  • Leg lifters (simple or motorised devices which can help, for instance, with getting into bed)
  • Dressing stick
  • Long handled shoe horns
  • Handy grabbers
  • Sock aids


Lack of movement can put you at risk of medical complications such as DVT. Getting up and around is very important but you can also keep moving while you’re sitting down with a pedal exerciser or our Happylegs ‘seated walking machine’.


Walking aids: Rollator

High back chair

Raised toilet seat




If things go well, extra equipment items may sometimes only be needed for a few weeks and therefore rental may be a particularly useful option, allowing equipment to be returned when it is no longer required to keep costs down for the user.

Although most people will rent for a few weeks or months, rentals can be as short as 2 days or, if you find it easier to let us look after your long-term equipment needs, can go on for years.



Q. Do I need to pay VAT?

A. If you have a long-term medical condition you do not need to pay VAT on most products that we sell. However, if your hip problem is due to an acute problem which has been dealt with by the operation the you would have to pay VAT. We can advise you this and help you with the simple paperwork.

Q. I’m recovering, so I’m not sure how long I’ll need the equipment for?

A. Because recovery from a hip replacement can be unpredictable a sensible option might be to consider renting, at least in the first instance. We stock a large variety of equipment for rent so read our rental page or call us for more information.

Q. Can I try the equipment before buying it?

A. You can visit our showroom and try out the equipment there. However, if you feel you need to try it out at home before buying, we offer a wide range of products available for rent, for periods as short as 2 days.

Q. I’m waiting for my operation. Could I come and discuss what equipment might help.

A. If you’re not sure what you might need after an operation, we’re very happy for you to come to the showroom to discuss things calmly before you actually go into hospital. You’ll often be prescribed some simple equipment by the hospital team but we can show you some of the other options that might be useful after your surgery.


Useful Links

NHS website: Hip Replacement

For more information about hip replacement


Hip replacement (Wikipedia) -

For more information about hip replacement

Visit our Showroom & Training Centre

We stock a wide range of products, with over 1000 lines available in the showroom.
Come and TRY out the products to see what suits your needs.
Our friendly highly-trained staff will help you make a choice which is right for you.

  • We're located just off the A10,
    less than 10 minutes from the North Circular or M25
  • 5-minute walk from Southbury Road Station
  • Level access showroom & Accessible toilets
  • Free local delivery available
  • Home assessments and delivery can be arranged
  • FREE PARKING in our large car park


Call us on 020 8805 2020 to speak to a trained advisor
or email

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