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  • Writer's pictureDr. Troy Miles

Is it Time For a New Hip? When Hip Replacements are Necessary for a Pain-Free Life

Hip replacement surgery is more common than most people realize. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 300,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States alone.

While hip replacement surgery is a common and effective procedure, it isn’t for everyone. Not every patient with hip pain is a candidate for surgery. In this article, we’ll discuss the circumstances under which hip replacement surgery is necessary.

What is hip replacement surgery?

Hip replacement surgery, also known as hip arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves removing the damaged or diseased part of a hip joint and replacing it with an artificial joint made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. The primary goal of hip replacement surgery is to alleviate pain, restore mobility, and improve the quality of life for the patient.

When is a hip replacement necessary?

There are several conditions that can cause hip pain and stiffness, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, and hip fractures. This pain can be debilitating, making it difficult to perform everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and getting out of bed. In these cases, a hip replacement may be necessary.

Hip replacements are recommended when non-surgical treatments, such as medication and physical therapy, have failed to provide relief.

The decision to undergo hip replacement surgery is usually made after a thorough evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hip surgery. The average age for hip replacement surgery is 66 years old, but the surgery can be performed on patients of all ages.

Which conditions can be treated with surgery?

Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for hip replacement surgery. This is a degenerative condition that causes the cartilage in the hip joint to wear away, leading to bone-on-bone contact and pain. The pain may worsen over time and eventually become chronic. Hip replacement surgery is usually recommended when conservative treatments, such as pain medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications, have failed to provide relief.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to the joints, including the hip joint. The inflammation can lead to cartilage and bone loss, causing pain and stiffness in the hip. In some cases, hip replacement surgery may be necessary to restore mobility and alleviate pain.

Traumatic arthritis is caused by a hip injury, such as a dislocation or fracture, that damages the cartilage and causes the hip joint to deteriorate over time. Hip replacement surgery may be necessary if the injury causes chronic pain and interferes with daily activities.

Avascular necrosis is a condition that occurs when the blood supply to the hip joint is interrupted, causing the bone tissue to die. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and collapse of the hip joint. In some cases, hip replacement surgery may be necessary.

What does the procedure entail?

Hip replacement surgery is a major surgical procedure that involves replacing the damaged or diseased parts of the hip joint with artificial components. The surgery can be performed under general or regional anesthesia, depending on the patient's health and preference.

During the procedure, Dr. Miles makes an incision along the side of the hip and removes the damaged bone and cartilage. The artificial joint components, made of metal, plastic, or ceramic, are then inserted into the hip socket and femur. The incision is closed with sutures or staples, and the patient is taken to the recovery room.

Recovery from a hip replacement surgery can take several weeks, and patients may require physical therapy to help regain their strength and mobility. While some patients may experience pain and discomfort during the recovery period, the majority of patients report significant improvements in their quality of life after the surgery.

Key Takeaways

Hip replacement surgery is a viable treatment option for people suffering from chronic hip pain and stiffness. It is usually recommended after non-surgical treatments have failed to provide relief, and the decision to undergo surgery is made after a thorough evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hip surgery.

According to a study published in The Journal of Arthroplasty, 90% of patients who underwent hip replacement surgery reported significant improvements in their quality of life.

If you are experiencing hip pain and stiffness, talk to Dr. Miles to determine if hip replacement surgery is right for you.


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