Signs You May Need Hip Replacement Surgery

If your hip is damaged, everyday activities such as putting on shoes, walking and getting in and out of a chair may be difficult and painful. Not only can it cause soreness, stiffness and inflammation, but it can interfere with critical day-to-day activities like walking and moving. If you’ve suffered from hip pain for a long time, you may consider surgery. But how do you know if hip replacement surgery is a good choice for you?

As with most types of treatment you should try more conservative treatments first before you consider surgery. Anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen can soothe hip pain, while walkers and crutches can improve your mobility and help you walk more easily. But if physical therapy, exercise and pain medications haven’t improved your hip pain or made it easier for you to get around or if any of these scenarios apply, hip replacement surgery may be an option to consider:

  1. Pain medication and physical therapy don’t work
    For some people, pain medication is an effective treatment in relieving hip pain. But medication can have unpleasant side effects, like sleepiness and decreased appetite. It can also be addictive. It can be hard to tolerate these side effects, especially when medication doesn’t give you the relief you want.
  2. Hip pain affects your day-to-day activities and mood
    Does your hip pain make it difficult to walk, bend, go grocery shopping or climb upstairs? Does your hip pain make you depressed or irritable most of the time? These are signs that hip replacement surgery may be a good treatment option for you.
  3. Your hip hurts when you’re resting
    Physical movement like walking or going upstairs can irritate your hip joints and cause pain. Taking a break from movement usually makes hip pain better. But if your hip hurts when you’re resting during the day or at night, you may want to consider surgery.
  4. You know your hip is causing your pain
    Sometimes pain around our hip is actually caused by pain in your back or knee. In these cases, hip replacement surgery won’t help. To see where your pain is coming from, your doctor can numb your hip. If you still have pain in your hip afterwards, then your pain is probably coming from your back or knee.
  5. Your hip joint is damaged
    If your doctor has told you that your hip joint is deformed or damaged and it is keeping you from staying active, it may be a good idea to consider hip replacement surgery. Damaged joints can get worse over time. If you wait too long, it may be harder to fix them.
  6. You have severe arthritis in your hip joint and it keeps you from staying active
    Different types of arthritis can affect your hip joints. These include osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. If your arthritis has caused severe damage to your hip joints, surgery may help. Hip replacement surgery can help relieve pain and make it easier for you to get back to your regular activities.

    1. Arthritis in the hip
  7. Stiffness makes it hard to move or lift your leg
    If your hip joints are so stiff that it’s hard to move or lift your leg, this may be a sign that hip replacement surgery is a good option.
  8. You want long-lasting relief
    Most treatments for hip pain are only temporary. Injections usually last for a couple months. Pain medications only last a few hours. Hip replacement surgery, on the other hand, lasts for decades. Almost 85 percent of artificial hip joints used in hip replacement surgeries last 20 years.

Virtual visits with orthopedics

Select patients can see our providers online from their home or office by using our Virtual Visit platform. This service allows you a fast, secure and easy way to receive care from the healthcare team in a live virtual visit using your phone or computer. The benefits of choosing a virtual visit include no travel or parking, less waiting, significant time savings, and the convenience of seeing your physician from wherever you choose. Learn more

Learn more
If you have any of the symptoms above and think you may be a good candidate, call our Nurse Navigator Kathryn Harada today at 805-955-6233. Kathryn brings a passion for helping patients get back to moving without pain. She brings together the entire care team to ensure you have the best possible experience before, during and after surgery. To speak with Kathryn about your personalized care plan, call (805) 955-6233 or fill out the form below.

Meet our Nurse Navigator
Kathryn Harada, BSN, BA, RN, PHN, CNOR


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