Hip Replacement

Hip replacement (arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure to replace all or part of a damaged hip joint with an artificial joint (prosthesis) in order to relieve pain that cannot be controlled by other treatments. This surgery may be used following a fracture of the joint or when severe disease causes pain during daily activities such as walking, sitting, or even resting. The pain may be caused by extensive wear and tear on the hip joint, inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis, or a lack of blood to the hip bone and joint cartilage. The orthopaedic surgeon will decide whether to replace the whole joint or to fix or replace only the damaged parts. The artificial joint is usually made of both metal and hard plastic parts, but ceramic parts also may be used.

Recent improvements in surgical techniques and prosthesis design and materials have made joint replacement more common and longer-lasting, with less pain and fewer complications for patients. The patient normally is put to sleep with general anesthesia during the surgery, though in some cases a spinal injection, or block, is used instead to prevent the patient from feeling pain during the procedure. Recovery takes several weeks, but with help of a physical therapist, patients are expected to begin walking on the new joint shortly after the operation.

Same-Day Total Joint Replacement
For those who meet certain medical requirements and eligibility criteria, we now offer same-day total joint replacement surgery, which allows these patients to undergo a total hip or knee replacement and go home the same day. Our pain management protocols, anesthesia techniques, and selection criteria have made this program possible and safe for a large percentage of our patients.

Patients from across the nation trust their orthopaedic care to the specialists at UAB Medicine, where they benefit from treatment delivered by skilled professionals in a compassionate environment. Our physicians and surgeons perform a wide range of complex and minimally invasive procedures and treatments, from joint replacements and bone cancer screenings to scoliosis correction and injury repair. They work closely with UAB Medicine specialists in other areas – including physical therapists, nutritionists, and oncologists – to ensure that you receive comprehensive and personalized care. Our pledge is to work with you to determine the best course of care for your individual needs, and we keep you informed every step of the way. You will find that we offer all levels of care and can take care of our patients from start to finish. Our team can take care and manage anything from a simple first time hip replacement to one that has been operated on numerous times requiring extensive reconstruction utilizing state of the art medicine.

Following a hip replacement, we encourage you to begin moving on the day of surgery with the help of physical therapy or nursing staff. You will undergo 2 sessions of therapy per day during your hospital stay, which will help improve and expedite your recovery and increase the chances that you will be discharged home rather than to a rehabilitation program or skilled nursing facility. At UAB Medicine we offer anterior hip replacement to those who meet the criteria for surgery. This new approach gives added benefits in recovery and improvement during the first two weeks after surgery. We also implement a new pain control protocol, which will help decrease your pain and give you greater ability to move.

Our physicians receive additional training in their area of focus and stay up to date on the latest advances through professional medical societies such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Hip and Knee Society. Because our physicians and surgeons take leadership roles in professional medical societies and author textbooks that help mold tomorrow’s orthopaedic care, they are nationally and internationally renowned for their expertise. In addition, they are working on numerous research ventures focused on treating and diagnosing joint infection, improving patient outcomes, and biomechanical studies on implants. This research could enhance the level of care you receive at UAB Medicine in the future.

Care Providers


  • Joint replacement thumbnail
    Joint Replacement Surgery: What to Expect
    This video explains what you can expect on your day of hip or knee surgery.
  • Orthopaedics Q&A with Dr. Ghanem
    Orthopaedics Q&A with Dr. Ghanem
    Elie Ghanem, MD, answers common questions about total hip and knee replacement.
  • What You Need to Know about Total Joint Replacement
    What You Need to Know about Total Joint Replacement
    Elie Ghanem, MD, answers common questions about total hip and knee replacement.
  • Fox 6 Medical Minute | Learn more about UAB's Orthopaedics Services
    Fox 6 Medical Minute | UAB Orthopaedics
    Learn more about surgical advancements and the range of services provided by UAB Orthopaedics.

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