Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 1.24.50 PMHip pain, either from arthritis, injuries or other conditions, can keep you from functioning normally, robbing you of productivity and enjoying life. Sometimes, people with hip discomfort try several non-surgical treatments, but they fail to find relief. If you’re suffering from hip pain, it may be time to consider a hip replacement.

A hip replacement, known medically as an arthroplasty, is a surgery involving the removal of diseased hip joint parts and the replacement of artificial, new components which are called the prosthesis. There are several conditions that may warrant a hip replacement. Here are a few of these conditions, along with some considerations and warnings.

Non-surgical Treatments

Before recommending a total hip replacement, your orthopedic doctor will try other treatments. One of the main ways doctors treat the problem is by having their patients use walking aids, such as walkers and canes.

We also show patients how to do specific exercises or prescribe physical therapy to relieve pain. Over-the-counter or prescription painkillers are usually part of a treatment plan. But if these methods fail to be effective, a hip replacement is often the best option.

Arthritic Conditions

There are several types of arthritis that can necessitate the need for a hip replacement.

  • Osteoarthritis, the most common type, entails bone cartilage wearing away. This can cause pain, stiffness, reduced mobility and excruciating pain with bones rubbing against each other.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, involves the inflammation of the synovial membrane. As a result excess synovial fluid is produced from the synovial membrane, damaging the articular cartilage, creating pain and stiffness in the hip. Articular cartilage is the white, smooth tissue covering the ends of bones where they meet to create joints.
  • Traumatic arthritis can be due to severe a severe hip fracture or injury. Again, because of damage to the articular cartilage, hip stiffness and pain occur.

Other Hip Conditions

Several other hip conditions can contribute to needing a hip replacement, such as:

  • Hip fractures
  • Developmental hip dyspalasia that occurs in childhood
  • Perthes disease—This condition can result in hip degeneration after several years and require a hip replacement procedure.
  • Avascular necrosis—This is a problem involving the head of the femur dying because it doesn’t receive enough blood supply. Avascular necrosis can be the result of sickle cell disease, long-term use of steroids, diabetes, gout or Gaucher disease.

Pain and Stiffness

Hip pain and stiffness can be due to several factors. If the pain affects the buttock, upper thigh or hip exterior, the problem can be the result of issues with tendons, ligaments, muscles or other soft tissues surrounding the hip joint.

If you suffer from hip pain and stiffness, see an orthopedic doctor for a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you need a hip replacement. A typical physical assessment entails a doctor assessing the strength and mobility of your hip, as well as examining hip alignment. X-rays or MRIs are also done so that your orthopedic doctor can note any hip deformities or damage.

Bone Damage

  • Bone damage from osteonecrosis, which is a bone disease causing the bones of the hip joint to die, can be a reason for a hip replacement.
  • Bone tumors are another type of bone damage which can mean you’ll need hip replacement surgery.
  • People with severe osteoporosis fractures can benefit from having a hip replacement.

Common Symptoms Suggesting You May Need Surgery

It’s critical that you be aware of some of the common symptoms that could be red flags, hinting you may need surgery. If you have these symptoms, call your orthopedic surgeon for an examination to see if surgery is needed. These symptoms include:

  • Pain preventing you to walk or bend your hip joint
  • Hip pain when resting
  • Hip stiffness that is so severe that you cannot lift your left

If you are suffering from hip pain, call the orthopedic professionals at Hampton Road Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and schedule an appointment. We offer our patients the anterior approach to hip replacement. Besides involving less scarring, this technique also has fewer restrictions during the recovery process. Please contact us and learn more about our wide range of orthopedic services.