Hip replacement surgery is a procedure to replace the damaged or diseased hip joint with an artificial joint. It is a common surgery that can relieve pain and improve function in people with severe hip arthritis. In this article, we are going to discuss the signs of needing a hip replacement, which are essential for making an informed decision.
How Do I Know If I Need a Hip Replacement?
There are many signs that can indicate the need for a hip replacement which are discussed later in the article. However, the most important factors that can help you decide if you should opt for a hip replacement surgery or not are:
Increasing Pain That Interferes with Daily Activities
The primary and most telling sign is chronic and significant pain anywhere between your hip and knee that interferes with your daily life. Activities like walking, driving, or even standing to prepare food may become challenging due to the relentless pain. If you can’t stand on your problematic leg for more than a minute, even with support, it might be indicative of hip issues.
To gauge the severity of your pain, consider the following questions:
- Have you experienced nighttime pain in bed?
- Can you stay without taking painkillers?
- Can you walk for a long time without experiencing unbearable pain?
- Is it painful to stand after sitting for a while?
- Have you faced difficulties with showering or bathing due to hip pain?
Depending on how these activities affect you, you can start to assess whether a hip replacement might be the right solution for you.
You can also perform some simple exercises at home to evaluate if you could benefit from hip replacement surgery. These include:
- Trying to bring your knee to your chest while lying on your back or sitting.
- Moving your leg out to the side while lying on your back without moving your trunk.
- Placing your ankle on the opposite knee while sitting on a chair and allowing the knee to drop down as far as possible.
If you cannot perform these exercises without experiencing excruciating pain, you should talk with your doctor about hip replacement.
No Relief from Other Treatments
While most hip problems can be addressed without a full hip replacement, if conservative treatments like physiotherapy, medication, and hip resurfacing have not provided lasting relief, a hip replacement might become a more suitable option.
Signs and Symptoms of Needing a Hip Replacement
Apart from these signs, there are more signs and symptoms that can indicate the need for a hip replacement surgery, such as:
Chronic Hip Stiffness
Stiffness in your hip joint that restricts walking, bending, or lifting your leg is another sign that your hip may require surgical intervention. Chronic hip stiffness that persists warrants prompt medical attention.
Advanced Arthritis or Joint Damage
Advanced cases of joint damage, particularly in hip osteoarthritis, may necessitate hip replacement surgery. The deterioration of cartilage in your hip joint can lead to bone-on-bone friction and severe joint damage.
Emotional and Mental Toll
Chronic hip joint pain can take a toll on your emotional and mental well-being. It is essential to consider the impact of persistent pain on your overall health, as it can be linked to conditions like depression and anxiety.
Side Effects from Pain Medications
Prolonged use of pain medications, such as NSAIDs, can lead to side effects like stomach irritation, ulcers, increased risk of stroke, blood clots, weakened immune system, tolerance, and addiction. If you are experiencing these side effects, it is crucial to discuss alternative solutions with your healthcare provider.
At KCM Clinic, we believe in patient-centred care and the importance of addressing not only physical but also emotional well-being. If you resonate with any of these signs and symptoms, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced orthopaedic specialists who can help evaluate your condition, provide personalised guidance, and discuss the potential benefits of hip replacement surgery tailored to your unique needs.