When non-surgical treatments stop relieving your chronic hip pain, or your pain reaches debilitating levels, hip replacement surgery may be the best option to relieve your discomfort, restore your mobility and improve your quality of life.
Hip pain is an increasing problem for many seniors in America. After time over-the-counter pain medications can lose their efficacy and chronic hip pain can quickly escalate—often requiring prescription medications, physical therapy, and the use of canes or walkers to aid mobility. If your pain is severe and debilitating, it is time to do something about it.
What Signs & Symptoms Indicate a Need for Hip Replacement Surgery?
Hip pain can have a number of causes, not all of which can be relieved by a hip joint replacement. For instance, constant or long-lasting stiffness in your hip joint can be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis while pain that centers in the buttocks region and radiates down the leg may be related to sciatica.
However, many cases of hip pain and discomfort are directly related to your hip joint. Symptoms and signs that it may be time for hip replacement surgery include:
- Mobility issues, especially if your level of mobility progressively worsens
- Persistent or recurring pain, swelling or discomfort in your hip
- Hip pain that worsens during rainy weather
- Inability to sleep due to hip pain and discomfort
- A “grating” feeling in your hip joint
- Increasing difficulty in climbing stairs or getting in and out of cars, bathtubs, and chairs
- OTC medications no longer effectively manage your hip pain
If you have any or all of these symptoms, talk to an orthopedic surgeon about the possible need for hip replacement surgery.
How Is a Diagnosis Made?
To determine if you are a good candidate for hip replacement surgery, you will need a thorough examination by an experienced orthopedic surgeon. This examination will include:
- A complete medical history evaluation, including any previous injuries or illnesses that could be contributing to your pain
- A physical assessment to determine your range of motion, pain level and the strength of your affected hip
Your orthopedic surgeon may also order additional medical testing, including MRIs and X-rays. If your surgeon decides that the next step is hip replacement surgery, be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you have about the surgery or recovery from hip replacement surgery.
What Do You Need to Know About Hip Replacement Surgical Procedures?
Potential candidates for hip replacement surgery need to know that the surgery is a time-tested procedure that has been used successfully for more than four decades to relieve chronic hip pain and improve both flexibility and mobility. More than 300,000 Americans opt for hip replacement surgery each year to rid themselves of hip pain and improve their quality of life.
Total hip replacement surgery, or total hip arthroplasty, uses a ball and socket prosthetic joint to replace your damaged one. Special metals, such as cobalt-chromium and titanium, and polyethylene plastics, are used to make your prosthetic joints. These materials are safe for use inside the body and are extremely durable and long lasting.
The procedure for your total hip replacement surgery will most likely include the following steps:
- Separating your femur from your hip socket
- Removing the damaged ball from the femur
- Removing your damaged bone and cartilage
- Inserting a metal shell into your pelvic bone socket and using bone grafting material to secure it
- Completing the artificial socket by adding the plastic liner
- Preparing your femur to receive the metal implant
- Placing the metal implant into the hollowed end of your femur
- Attaching a metal ball component to the stem
Hip replacement surgery is a very effective procedure, and most patients experience a dramatic reduction in pain and improvements in their mobility and stamina. With the proper recovery procedures and physical therapy, you should be able to enjoy walking, swimming, biking and other low-impact activities without impediment.
If you think you may need hip replacement surgery in Arkansas, contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital at 877-918-7020 to schedule an appointment with one of our renowned orthopedic surgeons.