Over the course of their lifetime, 29% of women and 19% of men will develop hip osteoarthritis, and it’s not just a problem associated with old age. Some of them won’t make it to retirement before feeling hip pain: 9% of adults age 45 and older have symptomatic hip osteoarthritis.
No matter how old you are when the first twinges of pain and stiffness appear, anyone who has hip osteoarthritis could eventually need to consider a hip replacement.
Whether you’re in the early stage and only have a few questions or you already live with such daily pain that you’re already considering a hip replacement, Andrew B. Richardson, MD, is available to explain your options and answer all of your questions. Here, we examine signs that a hip replacement may be the best option for you.
You have a hip condition that’s progressive or severe
We started this blog talking about hip osteoarthritis because it’s the top reason people decide to get a hip replacement. Because there’s no cure for osteoarthritis, there comes a time when advanced disease and joint damage leaves you with just one choice, and that’s a hip replacement.
However, osteoarthritis isn’t the only reason you may need to replace your hip joint. A hip replacement is a good option when any problem damages the tissues inside the joint beyond repair.
You could suffer an injury and end up with a hip fracture. Or you may develop osteonecrosis, a condition in which the blood supply to the leg bone inside the joint is diminished. As a result, the bone dies and collapses.
Conservative treatments have lost their impact
With only a few exceptions, such as a severe fracture, the initial treatment for hip pain includes nonsurgical options. For example, when you need arthritis management, your first line of treatment may include:
- Weight loss
- Changing your activities
- Physical therapy
- Assistive devices
- Joint injections
These treatments improve hip movement, ease your pain, and slow down joint deterioration. But how long conservative care eases your symptoms depends on the severity of your hip degeneration. When your symptoms are intolerable despite nonsurgical treatment, it’s time to consider a hip replacement.
Advanced joint damage stops you in your tracks
Arthritis is a progressive disease that gets worse over the years and causes ongoing damage to the tissues in the joint. Cartilage that’s essential for smooth movement breaks down. Bone damage occurs, bone spurs develop, and inflammation spreads throughout the joint.
All of these changes cause ever-increasing pain and limited joint movement. Eventually, you face challenges that make each day a struggle. You may:
- Find it difficult to walk or go up stairs
- Limp due to pain and limited movement
- Have hip pain even when resting
- Experience hip pain that disrupts your sleep
- Have ongoing pain that’s worse when you’re active
- Not be able to participate in normal daily activities
These symptoms are a sure sign you should talk with us about a hip replacement.
It’s time to restore your quality of life
When you decide you’ve had enough of putting your life on hold because hip problems won’t let you move, it’s definitely time to consider getting a new hip. During your hip replacement, we remove all the damaged tissues in your joint and replace them with a metal ball-and-socket joint.
Over the next few weeks, we help you recover and regain hip movement — and before you know it, you can enjoy the freedom of moving without pain. In addition to experiencing a dramatic improvement in your hip, today’s advanced prosthetics have lengthened the lifespan of hip replacements, with most lasting 15-25 years.
To learn if a hip replacement is your best treatment option, call Andrew B. Richardson, MD, or schedule an appointment online.