A doctor may recommend hip surgery if you don’t experience symptom relief from more conservative options or if you have a sudden and serious injury.

Hip surgery is one of the most common kinds of joint surgery in the United States. Approximately 450,000 hip replacements alone are performed each year.

Some procedures, like total hip replacement, require extensive surgery. Other procedures like hip arthroscopy can be performed through a small incision.

Read on to learn about the most common types of hip surgery and the conditions they’re used to treat.

Many types of surgery are used to treat difficulties with your hip. Here are some of the most common procedures.

Hip arthroscopy

Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose or treat hip difficulties. It involves making a small incision and inserting a tube called an arthroscope to see and repair structures. It may be used to treat:

Total hip arthroplasty (replacement)

Total hip replacement involves replacing the ball-and-socket joint in your hip with a prosthetic one. It’s most often performed to treat osteoarthritis but can also treat:

Partial hip arthroplasty (replacement)

A partial hip replacement, also called hemiarthroplasty, involves removing the ball of your hip but not the socket. It’s often recommended for treating hip fractures in older adults or less active people.

Hip resurfacing surgery

Hip resurfacing is generally performed in relatively young and active people to treat osteoarthritis. It involves removing tissue on the surface of your hip and covering the ball of your femur with a layer of metal.

Hip revision surgery

Hip revision surgery repairs or replaces a hip replacement, as well as fractures around your prosthesis. You may need revision surgery due to wear and tear or difficulties with your prosthesis.

Labral debridement

Labral debridement is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove damaged pieces of cartilage in people with a labral tear. A labral tear is an injury to the cartilage between the ball and the socket of your hip.

Hip labral repair or reconstruction

A labral repair reattaches a torn labrum to your hip socket with sutures and special anchors.

Labrum reconstruction is used for severe tears. It replaces your labrum with tissue from another part of your body or a donor. It’s most common in young and active people with minimal arthritis.

Periacetabular osteotomy

Periacetabular osteoplasty is a major surgery that involves repositioning your hip socket. It’s used to correct a congenital hip abnormal formation called hip dysplasia.

Femoral osteoplasty

Femoral osteoplasty is a reforming of the ball of your femur that’s used to correct hip dysplasia.

In situ pinning (hip fracture repair and internal fixation)

In situ pinning involves inserting screws, pins, or plates to hold your hip bones together. It’s an option for some hip fractures.


Subchrondroplasty is a new procedure that involves injecting a bone substitute into weakened areas of bone. Your body reabsorbs this substance and lays down new bone tissue.

Clinical trials are investigating its use in managing hip osteoarthritis.

Core decompression

This is a procedure used to treat avascular necrosis of the hip, in which your femoral head (part of your femur) collapses due to injury to your blood supply. This is a common cause of hip osteoarthritis and a need for a hip replacement.

Surgeons can use either a posterior or anterior approach to perform a total hip replacement. The posterior approach has historically been more common.

During the posterior procedure, your surgeon makes an incision close to your buttocks. During the anterior approach, your surgeon usually makes an incision near the front of your hip bone.

Most hip prostheses are made with metal, plastic, or ceramics. Common materials include:

  • titanium alloys
  • stainless steel
  • high strength alloys
  • zirconia
  • alumina
  • zirconia toughed alumina
  • ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene
  • cobalt chrome

Most people need surgery within 2 days of fracturing a hip. Surgical options include:

  • repair with pins, screws, rods, and plates
  • partial hip replacement
  • total hip replacement

You may benefit from a hip replacement if:

  • hip pain limits your everyday activities
  • you have pain while resting
  • stiffness impairs your ability to move your leg
  • you have poor relief from medications, physical therapy, or walking support

Every surgery comes with some risk. A doctor might not recommend surgery if they think your symptoms can be managed conservatively or if you have health conditions that may increase your risk of complications, such as:

Here are some frequently asked questions people have about hip surgery.

What is the most common hip surgery?

A total hip replacement is one of the most common joint surgeries. More than 450,000 procedures are estimated to be performed each year in the United States.

Which type of hip surgery is best?

The best type of hip surgery for you depends on factors like your underlying condition, overall health, and personal preference.

What is the least invasive type of hip surgery?

Some hip surgeries like a labral debridement can be performed with an arthroscope. Arthroscopic surgeries avoid the need for a large incision.

What is the newest procedure for hip replacement or surgery?

Subchondroplasty is a relatively new procedure that involves injecting a substitute material to replace bone. Your body then reabsorbs the substitute and lays down new bone tissue.

Hip surgery is used to treat a wide variety of hip conditions. Total hip replacement is one of the most common procedures in the United States. It’s often used to treat osteoarthritis.

A doctor can help you decide if surgery might be an effective treatment for your condition. Doctors usually only recommend surgery if you don’t respond to more conservative options or if you have a sudden serious injury.