Former President Bush Gets New Hip
Hip Replacement Surgeries Now Performed Routinely
WebMD News Archive
Jan. 5, 2007 -- Former President George H.W. Bush is recovering from hip
replacement surgery yesterday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
The 82-year-old Bush had his right hip replaced. He had his left hip
replaced in 2000. His wife, Barbara, had hip replacement surgery in 1997.
The surgery's success rate is high: More than 90% of those who get hip
replacement surgery will not need to have revision surgery to replace the
artificial joint. Most patients can sit and even walk with assistance within
two days of hip replacement surgery.
Most patients spend a few days in the hospital and begin physical therapy.
Full recovery takes from three to six months.
The most common reason for hip replacement surgery is degeneration of the
hip joint due to arthritis. Surgeons
use artificial devices to replace the ball-and-socket joint connecting the top
of the thighbone to the pelvis.
Traditional hip replacement surgery usually takes two or three hours. A 6-
to 8-inch incision is made in the side of the hip. Going between the large hip
muscles, doctors remove diseased or damaged bone. They press the artificial
socket into place and insert the metal stem at the other end into the top of
the thighbone, which is hollowed out to hold it in place.
Hip replacement surgery used to be considered a last resort for elderly
patients who could no longer stand the pain of a diseased hip. That's no longer
true. The operation is now routine and is often performed on younger, more
Bush is an excellent example. Even with an artificial hip, the former
president celebrated his 80th birthday by skydiving.