The answer is probably - How long have you waited?
The main factors affecting the safety and outcome of hip operations can be seen as a partnership between patient and their surgeon. Clearly the skill and experience of the surgeon is of paramount importance, but there are also obligations on the patient. The fitter the patient is, the lower the complication rate is likely to be.
In his article, My Choice of Hip Replacement, Hip and pelvis specialist surgeon, Mr Philip Stott talks about the importance of listening to all the concerns that the patient may have, before discussing the options. However, he also makes it quite clear that patients should not leave waiting for a hip replacement for too long. The reason is simple; the more the area has deteriorated and the muscles weakened, the more complicated the operation.
He explains that although complications are rare, they do occur. So the patient should not leave the operation so late that all of their muscles have disappeared and the joint has become so stiff that a new hip will not regain a good range of motion.
Get Fit for Your Operation
It is important to be as fit as possible for your operation. The quality of the surgeon is at least as important as the implant used. We have reliable data on implants. To help you identify a quality hip specialist in your area, ask friends / relatives / patients who have had hip replacements and your General Practitioner.
Your surgeon should be performing over a hundred hip replacements a year. Individual Surgeon results on the National Joint Registry have a natural inaccuracy. The more complex hip cases have a much higher complication rate than a standard hip replacement. These complex cases are not filtered out of the published results, and you cannot tell if those reported complications are on standard cases or complex ones.