Arthritis is a degenerative and progressive disease that may lead to joint pain, stiffness, immobility, and swelling. You may also find difficulty when moving or doing common daily activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects nearly 21 million Americans. It is the most common reason for needing a hip replacement.
Many people with arthritis have hip replacement surgery each year. Hip replacement has one of the highest success rates and cost-effectiveness among procedures performed in the medical field. While performing hip replacement, a surgeon removes a painful hip joint and puts an artificial one that is often composed of metal and plastic parts. One of the main indications that you need hip replacement surgery is failure of all other treatment options in achieving adequate pain relief.
Hip replacement usually offers reliable pain relief and improves hip function in people diagnosed with osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis.
Do You Need a Hip Replacement?
Orthopedic hip specialists may consider hip replacement for patients who, after exhausting non-surgical options for hip arthritis, continue to have any of the following:
Chronic or Significant Pain
Damaging your hip joint may result in chronic and significant pain. This pain is not just in your hip, but anywhere between your hip and knee. You should seek orthopedic specialist advice immediately if you do any of the following:
- Take painkillers regularly to cope with pain
- Stay awake all night due to pain
- Have difficulties walking or bending over
- Rest during the day or night doesn’t relieve pain
- Limp or use a walking aid to relieve pain
One of the main reasons that patients request a hip replacement is severe pain, but it isn’t the only symptom that is an indicator for hip replacement surgery. Here are more reasons for a hip replacement:
Interference with Daily Activities
Your hip arthritis should markedly influence your daily activities before proceeding with hip replacement. If you aren’t able to climb stairs or walk unless using a cane, you should highly consider having hip replacement. Also, it may be the time to think about this procedure if hip arthritis forces you to change your activities or avoid social gatherings because of hip pain.
Stiffness That Limits Normal Range of Motion
Stiffness is another sign of a severely injured hip joint and an indicator that you may need hip replacement surgery. Some patients who are suffering from stiffness but don’t have hip pain are also candidates for surgery. Most patients diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis suffer from hip stiffness that results in functional disability without hip pain. These patients may get bedridden or require walking aids. Hip replacement in these patients dramatically improves their function, allowing bedridden patients to move freely and get rid of walking aids.
Failure of Conservative Treatments to Relieve Hip Pain
People with conditions that affect the hip joint, such as arthritis, should initially try conservative treatment options before considering hip replacement surgery. These conservative options include:
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Anti-inflammatory medications
These treatment options do not cure your hip condition. However, they may enhance your hip function and reduce hip pain. Unfortunately, there is a point where these measures begin to be less effective and fail to relieve pain. When this occurs, your doctor may suggest hip replacement surgery.
Hip Pain is Wearing You Down Emotionally and Mentally
The physical consequences of hip pain are clear, as it reduces your ability to move and perform actions. However, chronic hip pain can also greatly affect a patient’s emotional and mental well-being. Even if you can handle your level of hip pain, after coping with this symptom for months or even years, you may find yourself showing signs of mental health distress. In fact, chronic pain has strong association with both depression and anxiety.
Orthopedic Surgeons in New Jersey
If you have hip pain due to arthritis, seek our skilled orthopedic doctors to evaluate your condition. Our team at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey will help you make the best choice of treatment for your condition.