Surgeon/patient understanding
Review of the literature
Standard prostheses
Custom prostheses


When proposing a hip replacement operation, the surgeon agrees a ‘moral contract’ with his/her patient as far as the expected outcomes are concerned.

The main points of this ‘contract’ or understanding are:

1. Pain

It is highly probable that the patient will no longer feel any pain after the surgical procedure.

2. Activity

A prosthesis is fitted to allow the patient to lead a normal life (domestic, working, social, and sports life...). It also allows the patient to have a normal sex life.

3. Working life

The working life of a prosthesis cannot be evaluated precisely. It should last for 15 years +/- 5 years without issue: 5 years less for young and very active patients and 5 years more for older and less active patients.

4. Complications

The surgeon must explain to his/her patient the possible complications. Often, the surgeon describes these complications by order of severity. They may occur either very soon after the operation or after the prosthesis has been in place for some time. The rate of complications, although low, can never be zero. Some surgeons audit their personal rates of success and complications.