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Total Hip Replacement

  • May 26 2019

How do I know if I am a good candidate for total hip replacement surgery?

Our ability to do everything from getting out of bed in the morning to participating in the most demanding activities, whether on a personal level or part of a professional sport, is dependent on our joints. The demands we make on them rarely stop, even while we are sleeping and have the urge to turn over or get up for a trip to the bathroom. Fortunately, the design of the body takes into account the stress that will be placed on the joints, especially the ball-and-socket joints like in the hip, and they are not only strong but well protected.

The hip joint is the largest of the body’s ball-and-socket joints. It connects the pelvis to the femur, or thighbone, and is surrounded by the particularly strong gluteal muscles, which are what give the hip the ability to move the way it does. Whenever we do anything like take a step, run, stand up or climb stairs, we are able to do so because of the way these bones and muscles come together and move.

Causes of Hip Deterioration Leading to Replacement Surgery

Eventually, the demands of a lifetime will take a toll, and parts of the hip joint will begin to deteriorate or the joint may be affected by other conditions. Some of the more common of these are:

  • Osteoarthritis – also known and the “wear-and-tear” arthritis and typically associated with aging
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – characterized by the body’s own immune system attacking the hip joint and resulting in painful inflammation
  • Avascular necrosis – insufficient blood supply to the joint resulting in bone deterioration
  • Fractures and other injuries and trauma, often leading to arthritis at a later date
  • Tumors on one of the bones making up the hip joint
  • Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) and other types of systemic diseases

Symptoms of Hip Joint Issues

Despite the fact that well over a quarter of a million hip replacement surgeries are done every year right here in the U.S., not every twinge felt in the hip means you are destined for surgery. Some of the symptoms that may indicate a problem include:

  • pain in the joint or groin area
  • limping or decreased mobility
  • the joint area may be warm to the touch
  • swelling and/or tenderness
  • uncomfortable sleeping on your side with pressure on hip joint

When these or other persistent symptoms are experienced, it is important to consult with your healthcare professional. Depending on the level of pain and impact on mobility, your doctor will often recommend some combination of treatment options before considering joint replacement surgery. Suggestions may include modifying activity, anti-inflammatory medications, supplements that target joints and losing weight.

Choosing Hip Replacement Surgery

For those who try the conservative, non-invasive methods and are not successful in effectively reducing pain and disability, hip replacement will likely be the next step. The age of the patient is taken into consideration, primarily, because replacement joints are lasting somewhere in the 20-year range, so those who are under 50 will probably have to have a second procedure, which can be more difficult than the initial replacement. Hip replacements have been successfully done for people of all ages, and it is the level of pain and decreased mobility that take precedence.

Hip replacement surgeries are near the top of the list of successful and life-changing procedures being done today. Results are long-term, and innovative technology and methods are improving not only the outcome but also the recovery process.

If you have questions about hip replacement surgery or any other orthopedic concerns, the physicians and staff of South Island Orthopedics are very experienced in a wide range of orthopedic conditions and are committed to providing personalized care in a state-of-the-art facility. To schedule an appointment, or if you just have questions, please use our convenient online contact form by clicking here.

Posted in: Hip