Hip replacements are still considered a major operation but now there may be a new approach into an outpatient procedure.
In the 40 years since the first hip was replaced, hip replacements now last longer and are being done at younger ages. Today there is a procedure where having a hip replacement has patients out of the hospital within 24 hours.
The procedure includes two very small incisions, one in the front and the other in the buttocks to insert the very same prosthetic hip used in a conventional replacement. The key is a special instruments and x-ray guidance to tell where everything is going, because muscles are not cut recovery is much faster.
Almost anyone who needs a hip replacement can have it done unless there is a deformity or it's a second replacement. Only a handful of surgeons are trained to do the new procedure though.