When is Hip Replacement Warranted?
Hip replacement surgery is not something that most people imagine needing. Even in light of persistent hip pain and limited mobility, we notice that many patients question if and when surgery is absolutely necessary. In our Paramus, NJ practice, where knees and hips are all we do, we can tell our patient wholeheartedly that we share their sentiment. Hip replacement surgeries are not to be taken lightly. The road to surgery is one that may be taken slowly, one small step at a time.
Step One: When to Talk with Your Doctor
Generally, the conversation regarding potential hip replacement begins in the primary care office. This initial discussion should take place if the hip joint often aches, even if stretches of relative comfort follow aching. If gate changes or hip pain occurs after standing or sitting or walking, if pain gets in the way of quality sleep, or the joint feel stiff and prevents full mobility, it’s time to talk with your doctor. In most cases, hip degeneration is treated as conservatively as possible. Initially, this means with lifestyle modifications, pain medication, and physical therapy. If these steps fail to improve quality of life, hip replacement surgery may be considered.
Step Two: Consulting with a Hip Specialist
Our extensive training in the area of hip replacement surgery does not make us any more eager to recommend surgery unless it is warranted. After consulting with patients, steps are taken to obtain an accurate diagnosis of hip pain. These include x-ray analysis, physical tests, and a thorough examination of the hip. We discuss the amount of pain patients are in and the frequency of their pain and also any subsequent pain they may experience.
Seeing the Signs
Hip replacement surgeries help nearly one million patients each year regain comfort and mobility. Signs that it’s time to talk with your doctor include:
- Hip pain persists for several months or recurs every few weeks or months.
- Exercise causes or exacerbates hip pain.
- Your mobility and ability to perform usual tasks has declined.
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication does not provide adequate relief.
- The hip joint feels stiff after sitting for some time, such as watching a movie.
- Hip pain disrupts sleep.
- Walking or climbing stairs becomes difficult.
- Standing from a seated position is difficult.
- A grating sensation can be felt in the hip joint.
Do you have questions about hip symptoms? Contact our New Jersey office at 201-291-4040.
Category: Hip Replacement