While general anesthesia is a safe option, both hip and knee replacements can be performed under regional anesthesia. Regional anesthesia is analgesic medication administered in a deliberate way around nerves to temporarily shut them off. For example, many are familiar with the Epidural regional anesthesia pregnant women often receive to provide analgesia from the waist down and facilitate a smoother delivery of their baby.
Many surgeons and anesthesiologists prefer regional anesthesia because it can reduce complications and improve your recovery experience. Advantages to regional anesthesia may include less blood loss, less nausea, less drowsiness, improved pain control after surgery, and reduced risk of serious medical complications.
Please know that you should have a discussion regarding anesthesia and post-operative pain management with your surgeon and anesthesia team prior to your surgery.