A Total Hip Arthroplasty is done when a person is experiencing osteoarthritis, loss of mobility, severe pain when walking, rheumatoid arthritis, deficits in range of motion, and fractures of the thigh bone. During surgery, there is replacement of the acetabulum and femoral head. Hip replacements are currently the most common orthopedic operation. There is bone removed from the femur in order to accept the femoral stem with the attached prosthetic femoral head. The level of weight bearing is determined by the surgeon. The procedure usually requires an incision between 5-8 inches in length. The average lifespan of a total hip arthroplasty lasts 15-20 years. A younger person may need to have theirs replaced or more revisions done.

Physical therapy begins soon after surgery. First and foremost, physical therapy will focus on decreasing inflammation, adhering to hip precautions, regaining full passive range of motion, and minimizing muscle loss. Treatment will begin with ankle pumps, gluteal sets, quadriceps sets, active hip flexion within available range of motion, and assistive device training. There are several precautions that must be followed in order for proper healing to occur. These include: 1. Do not cross legs. 2. Sit in firm chairs not soft, low chairs. 3. Avoid turning toes inward. 4. Put a pillow between legs when in bed. 5. Used a raised toilet. 6. Remove all throw rugs. 7. When going up stairs, step up with uninvolved(good) leg. 8. When going down stairs, step down with involved(bad) leg. 8. Only walk for short periods at a time.

As the person progresses in physical therapy, treatment will focus more on regaining full endurance and strength while achieving independence at home.