Double hip replacement surgery vs single hip replacement surgery – what’s right for me?

If the pain in both your hips is hindering you from doing the things you love, you might be recommended to undergo surgery to have both hip bones replaced.

There are two options to consider when it comes to replacing both your hips and there are benefits to each approach. Your options include:

  • Double hip replacement (or simultaneous bilateral total hip replacement) in which both hip joints are replaced in one surgery.
  • Two single hip replacements (or a staged bilateral total hip replacement) in which your hips are replaced in two separate surgeries.

Below are the pros and cons of each approach to help you decide which might be best for you.

Double hip replacement surgery



Less total time spent in hospital

Your recovery period will be longer than for a single hip replacement, as you have two hips recovering

Your rehabilitation period is faster overall, as you only need to recover once

You will need to rely on your arms to support your body as you heal

One stay in hospital

More likely to need to stay in a rehabilitation centre afterwards

Less total time off work

Longer surgery timeframe

One dose of anaesthesia

As the surgery and anaesthesia are prolonged, there is a slight increase in risk of complication. However, these are uncommon

Lower cost

This approach is not suitable for people with cardiovascular, pulmonary or other relevant health problems


Two single hip replacement surgeries



You can rely on your other hip during recovery and between surgeries

The overall rehabilitation process can be longer, as you require a separate recovery period for each hip

The surgeries are conducted months apart, so you have time to recover in-between

Recovery with one fully operable, new hip and one painful hip can be difficult

Shorter visits to the hospital for each surgery

More time off work

Reduced risk of complications

Higher cost

It can be easier to support yourself on crutches after surgery with one functioning hip



Make sure you seek guidance from a professional before choosing the approach you prefer for your double hip replacement. As one of the top Orthopaedic Surgeons in Newcastle and the Hunter performing double and single hip replacement surgery using advanced technologies, Dr Stuart MacKenzie can help you get moving again.

If you would like more information on our hip replacement surgeries, click below for our free specialist guide Your Complete Guide to Hip Replacement or contact us today.


1 Sep 2017

Published by Stuart MacKenzie

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