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How Do You Know When You Need a Hip Replacement?
How Do You Know When You Need a Hip Replacement?

Hip pain or stiffness can prevent you from doing your daily activities, such as walking, with ease and comfort. When the problem affects your quality of life, it may make sense to look into hip replacement surgery as a solution.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, researchers found that 90% of patients with moderate pain before their first surgery reported mild or no pain after five years. The impact was just as profound for 89% of patients with severe pain.

Even with this extraordinarily positive outcome, hip replacement may not be for everyone. So, how do you know when you need a hip replacement? Below, we’ll discuss the signs to help you better understand this option and drive a more meaningful conversation with your surgeon.

What Is Hip Replacement?

A hip replacement is a surgery that replaces damaged sections of the hip joint with artificial parts. These implants or prosthetics are usually made of ceramic, metal, and tough plastic. They help reduce pain and increase mobility. 

Now, you may wonder, “how do I know if I need a new hip?” Start by identifying if you have one of these most common hip-related conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis)
  • An injury such as a hip fracture
  • Hip joint tumor

Further, you have three options for hip replacement based on where the surgeon accesses your hip joint during the operation:

  • Anterior hip replacement: The hip joint is accessed from the front of the patient’s body
  • Lateral hip replacement: The surgeon accesses the joint from the patient’s side
  • Posterior hip replacement: The hip joint is accessed from the back, with the patient lying face down or on their side

Symptoms of Needing a Hip Replacement

Aside from having one of the conditions above, you can tell if hip replacement is a good option for you by looking into these factors:

You Still Struggle After Trying Other Treatments

Conservative treatments may be sufficient for some people suffering from hip pain. But if you’ve tried these treatments, and none of them have worked, it’s probably time to find an adequate solution through hip replacement.

You will know it’s time to move on if you have attempted the following treatments without getting better results:

  • Acupuncture
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections

Your Mobility Issues Are Affecting Your Quality of Life

Our ability to move may change as we age. In your case, mobility can decline due to hip-related issues, limiting the range of activities you can do. 

But with a hip replacement, you can significantly improve your function and reduce the difficulty or pain or stiffness associated with the following:

  • Walking
  • Standing
  • Sitting
  • Climbing stairs
  • Bending over
  • Lying in bed

You Have Advanced Arthritis or Significant Joint Damage

Your hip is a ball-and-socket synovial joint. The ball that joins with the pelvic bone socket is the femoral head (check the top of your thigh bone). Cartilage and synovial fluid reduce the friction and provide a cushion between the bones rubbing together.

If you have advanced arthritis, the cartilage wears away and the fluid decreases. This results in chronic pain that can worsen over time – one of the strongest reasons for and symptoms of needing a hip replacement.

You Experience Side Effects From Hip Pain Medication

Pain medication can be effective in bringing relief. But there’s a reason they’re prescribed to be used for a short time. 

Prolonged use can cause side effects, such as ulcers and stomach irritation. It can also weaken your immune system and increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. 

Further, you may struggle with tolerance and addiction. In this light, it’s better to find a safer, long-term solution.

You Have Problems With Your Mental Health

Lastly, hip problems can lead to weight loss and disrupt your daily life. In many cases, this can impact your mental and emotional well-being.

If it does, you may have to deal with depression symptoms, including:

  • Feeling sad and hopeless
  • Losing interest in doing things you used to enjoy
  • Sleeping less or more than usual
  • Worrying all the time
  • Experiencing fatigue
  • Gaining or losing weight

Hip Replacement Surgery Is a Journey

We’ve just explored the possible reasons and answers to the question: how do I know if I need a  hip replacement?

Now that you’re more certain if hip replacement is the right step to take, you can be more open with your doctor when discussing its potential benefits.

Ensure you are seeking experts like Dr. Benjamin Domb, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in innovative treatments for the hip. A notable pioneer of advanced new techniques in hip arthroscopy, he can provide the advice and guidance you need regarding the option of hip replacement surgery. 

Your journey toward freedom from your hip issues starts with one call. Contact our Chicago, IL, clinic today to book an appointment with a surgeon you can rely on.