Hip pain can be hard to deal with and can interfere with your day-to-day activities. If you are missing out because of hip pain then it may be time to consider surgery.
What are Signs You Need a Hip Replacement?
Persistent hip pain and stiffness could signal something far more severe. These symptoms may point to a worn-out hip joint, advanced osteoarthritis, or they might indicate another issue. People who benefit from hip replacement surgery often have:
- Hip pain that limits everyday activities, such as walking or bending
- Hip pain that continues while resting, either day or night
- Stiffness in a hip that limits the ability to move or lift the leg
- Inadequate pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or walking supports
There’s no set of rules that come with a hip replacement, and it is important to consider conservative treatment options before electing surgery. If you have tried conservative treatment options and are still in pain then it is time to get an evaluation from your orthopaedic surgeon. Your orthopaedic surgeon will review the results of your evaluation with you and discuss whether hip replacement surgery is the best method to relieve your pain and improve your mobility.
What Happens During Hip Replacement Surgery?
A traditional hip replacement involves an incision several inches long over the hip joint. A newer approach uses 1 or 2 smaller incisions to do the surgery. This is called minimally invasive hip replacement. During hip replacement, a surgeon removes the damaged sections of your hip joint and replaces them with parts usually constructed of metal, ceramic and very hard plastic. This artificial joint (prosthesis) helps reduce pain and improve function. After surgery, patients may spend several hours in a recovery room while the surgical anesthesia wears off. Afterwards, a patient typically is taken to a hospital room where 1 to 2 days are spent recovering before discharge.
What Does the Recovery Time Frame Look Like?
Although recovery after a total hip replacement varies by individual, there are some common milestones. Within 24 hours of undergoing hip replacement surgery, most patients are encouraged to walk with the aid of a walker or other assistive device. A nurse or physical therapist will teach patients how to move safely while protecting the new hip as it heals. Many people attend outpatient appointments 1 to 3 times a week for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Hip stretching and exercises are encouraged even after physical therapy formally ends. Severe and/or worsening pain should be reported immediately to your physical therapist or doctor.
After recovery, people with hip replacements typically report less pain, better hip function, and improved ability to work and socialize. Post-surgical results will differ from patient to patient. People are encouraged to discuss reasonable expectations with their surgeons.
Deciding to have hip replacement surgery can be difficult. If you’re dealing with adverse symptoms associated with hip damage, call our office at 830.625.0009 or request an appointment online. Our orthopedic specialists can help you decide if hip replacement surgery is a good treatment for you.