If you decide to have a joint replacement operation, the final decision will, of course, be yours, you will usually be invited to attend a pre operation clinic or other session, at which you will be able to put questions about the operation to a specialist. You will be examined to ensure that you are sufficiently fit for the operation. You will also be advised if you need to lose weight or do any more exercise than you are doing already. You will probably be admitted to hospital the day before your operation, possible earlier if you have any condition possible earlier if you have any condition that requires special attention such as a heart condition.

On the day of the operation you will be given a pill or injection to relax you. In the operating theatre you will be given either a general anesthetic or a local one to make you lose all feeling below the waist. If the latter is elected, you will also be given sedatives during the operation. The research team is studying the effects of coating first the ball and then the socket of an artificial hip joint with the new material.

They have also found that the carbon coating can be fastened securely to the lining of the natural socket, and that it does not cause any harmful biological reaction during the course of its use. This type of joint is still experimental, but it may extend the lives of hip joints by five to ten years. A total hip replacement can be seen in the x-ray. The femur thigh bone was cut to accommodate the metal shaft, and the pelvis was drilled to take the socket. A metal cage held in place with wires surrounds the upper portion of the joint.

Small pieces of bone from the femoral head were placed in the cage to help fuse the bone component. An intravenous drip, a tube vein in your arm which is used to supply fluid and any necessary medication directly to your blood stream, will be left in place after the operation. You will also find one or two tubes coming out of your hip. These remove the fluid produced as the body heals after the surgery. You will be taken to a recovery room or high level care unit, and stay there until the doctors think your condition is steady. After that, you will probably be taken back to your ward.