Hip replacement surgery can be life-changing for those suffering from immobilizing hip pain. Although people think of hip replacement as a last resort, hip replacement has now become commonplace. With recent advances in surgical techniques, hip replacement can help you get back to activity in as little as a few weeks in most cases.
If you’re at the point where you’ve tried all the non-surgical options such as lifestyle modification, pain medicine, physical therapy and injections, you may be ready to finally have that hip replacement conversation with your doctor. If so, Temple’s orthopedic surgeons recommend you take some time to consider a few important factors.
There could be many reasons why your doctor recommends hip replacement
There are numerous reasons people need hip replacement surgery. Most result from the development of osteoarthritis in the hip, which occurs when bones in the joint rub together after cartilage breaks down. Fractures, injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, bone spurs and bone tumors are other possible reasons you may need surgery.
Make sure a board-certified orthopedic surgeon evaluates your hip pain
When hip pain is uncontrollable and everyday activities are limited by stiffness and reduced range of motion, your first step should be to visit a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with experience in the latest joint replacement techniques. You’ll begin with a thorough exam and imaging studies to confirm that the hip joint is indeed the cause of your pain.
Not all hip pain is due to a hip problem – for example, sciatica from your back and vascular problems can also present as hip pain. Once you have ruled out other causes of hip pain and you’ve exhausted all other treatment options, you may discuss the hip replacement options.
Get your hip replacement done at a comprehensive joint replacement program
Temple’s orthopedic surgeons are part of our Joint Replacement Program, one of the top orthopedic programs in the region. Recent advances in surgical techniques have helped our patients get back to their busy lives in less time than ever. Temple’s hip replacement options include:
Total hip replacement
The damaged joint is removed and replaced with a prosthetic (artificial) joint made of ceramic, metal or plastic. This is the most common type of hip surgery, but should be a last resort option after more conservative treatments are tried.
Partial hip replacement
Only the femoral head (the ball that rotates inside the joint socket) is replaced. This procedure is routinely used for hip fractures. Patients who do not have arthritis in the hip and have healthy cartilage often are considered good candidates for this procedure.
This is an alternative to hip replacement for young and active patients. Instead of removing the femoral head and replacing it with an artificial joint, the femoral head is reshaped and then fitted with a metal covering that fits in the joint socket.
Minimally invasive hip surgery
Ask your doctor whether you are a candidate for minimally invasive hip replacement surgery, in which smaller incisions are used. Potential benefits include a lower risk of muscle and tendon damage, less blood loss and faster healing.
Discuss your options before you decide
Choosing to undergo hip replacement surgery is a big decision. It is best to discuss your options with an orthopedic surgeon you trust. This will help you weigh the pros and cons of surgery, whether now is the right time for surgery and which procedure is the best option so you can enjoy a healthy and active future.
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