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Hip Replacement and Resurfacing

COVID-19 update: Our orthopedic surgeons, rehab specialists, sports medicine doctors and athletic trainers are seeing patients. Video visits are available for many appointment types. For in-person visits, we have implemented additional safety measures to protect you and our caregivers. Call 858-657-8200, and we will guide you to the most appropriate type of care.

When severe pain from osteoarthritis in both hips threatened to put an end to former Green Beret Scott Ellinger's athletic passions, he turned to UC San Diego Health for help.

At UC San Diego Health, our joint replacement surgeons have extensive experience and expertise in total hip replacement. In addition, our fellowship-trained team is frequently called on to perform revision surgery following replacement at other medical centers.

UC San Diego Health is ranked among the nation's best in orthopedic care by U.S. News & World Report.

Types of Hip Replacement Surgery and Hip Resurfacing

  • Mini-anterior approach: the incision is made in the front of the hip. This enables the surgeon to reach the joint by separating the muscles rather than cutting them. We perform more anterior hip replacements than any medical center in the region. This type of hip replacement is performed by Krishna Cidambi, MD, and  Francis Gonzales, MD.
  • Mini-posterior approach: the surgical incision is made at the back of the hip. This allows for direct, minimally invasive access to the hip joint and thigh bone (femur). This type of hip replacement is performed by Scott Ball, MD.
  • Anterolateral approach: the surgical incision is made on the side of the hip. This approach is highly popular in Canada and Europe. This approach is easily revised without additional risk of dislocation. 
  • Hip resurfacing: the "ball" of the hip is reshaped and capped. This approach is not suitable for most people but may be used in younger people with strong bones and few other treatment options. 

Our orthopedic surgeons can help you decide on the surgical approach that is right for you. These advanced surgeries have potential benefits over traditional hip replacements, including:

  • Faster recovery with less pain
  • Greater stability (full movement and flexibility after surgery)
  • Reduced risk of dislocation
Our team works closely with patients before surgery to ensure they reach their recovery goals. We offer online or in-person classes prior to surgery to help you and your loved ones prepare. 

Hip Pain Management and Rehab

We understand the importance of pain management and post-surgical rehab in your recovery. Our pain specialists are highly involved in your surgery plans, and we practice multimodal pain management to ensure your comfort. We begin rehab shortly after surgery and integrate home-based physical therapy with highly trained therapists into your replacement plan. Read about our orthopedic rehab program.

Hip Replacements without a Hospital Stay

We offer less invasive surgical techniques, better anesthesia, and better physical therapy. For motivated, active patients, this means they may be able to undergo a hip replacement on an outpatient basis. Patients can start therapy a few hours after surgery, and return home within 24 hours after surgery.

How well you were moving around before surgery — not age — is the best predictor for how quickly you will recover from surgery. The healthier and more active you are, the more you can expect to be up and walking around after hip replacement.  

If you'd like to know whether you're a candidate, call 858-657-8200. Please also mention your interest in outpatient surgery when you schedule an appointment.

Online Second Opinions of Hip Joint X-Rays or MRIs

If you have X-rays or an MRI of your hip and would like one of our orthopedists to review your images, UC San Diego Health offers online imaging reviews. It's an easy and affordable way to help you make an informed decision about hip surgery. For more information, see Online Second Opinions for Hip Replacement or Resurfacing.