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Hip Replacement and Resurfacing

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, you find surgeons with extensive experience and expertise in all types of hip replacement surgeries. With a full spectrum of treatment approaches, your joint surgery can be personalized to your health status, lifestyle and individual preferences. 

Look to us for a personalized hip replacement, hip resurfacing or revision surgery because UC San Diego Health is repeatedly ranked among the nation's best in orthopedic care by U.S. News & World Report.  We are also a Blue Distinction Center recognized for our treatment expertise and better overall patient results for hip replacement, as well as a designated Center of Excellence for complex orthopedic care by Optum .

Advanced Hip Replacement

Your surgeon will talk to you about which type of hip surgery is best for you. Choosing the most appropriate surgical approach can mean you have a faster recovery with less pain and greater movement and flexibility following surgery. It also reduces risks of complications.

Anterior Hip Replacement

Running, Horseback Riding after Anterior Hip Replacement

Nancy Kehoe 

Nancy Kehoe experienced chronic pain from two arthritic hips before having anterior hip replacement surgery at UC San Diego Health.

In this approach, an incision is made at the front of the hip, allowing your surgeon to reach the joint by separating the muscles rather than cutting them. Only about 15 percent of U.S. hospitals have the expertise and technology to offer anterior hip replacement. UC San Diego Health is sought out for these muscle-sparing surgeries and performs more of these procedures than any hospital in the region. Anterior hip replacements are performed by Krishna Cidambi, MD and Francis Gonzales, MD.

Posterior Hip Replacement

The posterior approach allows for direct, minimally invasive access to the joint through the back of the hip. This approach gives your surgeon a direct view of the joint capsule, which makes it easier to precisely place the implant. This surgical approach is performed by Scott Ball, MD.

Hip Resurfacing

Hip Resurfacing X-Ray

X-ray of resurfaced hip.

Hip resurfacing involves reshaping and capping the "ball" of the hip, as well as lining the hip socket with a metal cup. Hip resurfacing is an alternative to total hip replacement but it is not advised for most people. It may be an option for younger, active people who have strong, large bones and few treatment alternatives. Hip resurfacing may allow you to return to a more active lifestyle than a total hip replacement.

Revision Surgery

The components of your hip replacement or resurfacing are mechanical devices that can wear out over time, break or become loose. If you are having problems with a previous hip replacement, have an infection or other complication, you may need a revision surgery to fix and repair your joint. Look to UC San Diego Health for your revision surgery because our surgeons have the experience and advanced equipment needed to perform these complex surgeries.

Hip Replacements without a Hospital Stay

With less invasive surgical techniques, better anesthesia, and better physical therapy, some patients may be able to go home within several hours of surgery. How well you are moving around before surgery — not age — is the best predictor for how quickly you will recover from surgery. If you are interested in an outpatient hip replacement, talk to your surgeon about whether it is a good option for you.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Your care team works closely with you before and after surgery to educate you about your surgery and the recovery process, including pain management. Physical therapy is a key to allowing you to return to a more active lifestyle. UC San Diego Health orthopedic rehab specialists work with you 1-1 to develop an exercise routine that will help you regain hip function, strength and stability.

Appointments and Referrals


La Jolla



Orthopedic Surgeons

Preoperative Class

Online Second Opinions 

UC San Diego Health offers online reviews of your hip X-rays or MRI. A second read of your imaging is a convenient, affordable way to help make an informed decision about surgery.