It's not uncommon to experience hip pain at some point in life, and it’s not a big deal as long as the pain goes away. If your pain lingers and you're having trouble getting around, however, you might be dealing with osteoarthritis.
When your hip pain gets to the point where nothing is helping, and your entire life is affected, it's time to consider joint replacement surgery. At Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, our team of orthopedic specialists helps you to determine if you're ready to discuss a hip replacement for your chronic pain.
Understanding a hip replacement
Hip replacement surgery is a procedure our team uses when significant damage in your hip joint is limiting your daily activities. It's a major procedure; that’s why it's only for severe cases of joint damage.
During a hip replacement, you're under general anesthesia. Our team makes an incision in the hip and removes the damaged cartilage and bone from the joint. Once we clean out the joint, our team measures you for the prosthetic devices.
The prosthetics are a mix of metal, rigid plastics, and ceramics. The prosthetic hip devices consist of the stem that goes into your femur and the ball joint that fits onto the stem. You also receive a new hip socket that fits into your pelvis.
After the prosthetics are in place, our team ensures that your hip moves smoothly before closing the incisions. After the procedure, you go to the recovery room, where you'll wake up from the anesthesia.
You might need to spend a night or two in the hospital after a hip replacement for pain control and start physical therapy immediately.
Signs you need a hip replacement
Now that you know what a hip replacement involves, how do you know if it's right for you?
Several signs can indicate that a hip replacement is in your future. They include:
1. Severe pain that limits your activities
When your hip pain is so severe you can't complete your typical tasks, it's time to consider surgery. You need a hip replacement if you can't get up the steps or walk for more than a few minutes without excruciating pain.
2. Other treatments haven't helped
Physical therapy, joint injections, and pain medications are all first-line treatments for hip pain. However, if you've tried these and still have significant issues with your hip, it's time to consider joint replacement surgery.
3. You have severe osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is one of the main issues that lead to hip replacements. This type of arthritis wears down your joint's protective tissues, leading to inflammation and pain.
4. Your pain continues during rest or sleep
Hip pain that continues even when you're at rest is a problem. If your pain wakes you up from sleep or you can't sit down without excruciating pain, a hip replacement might be a good option.
5. You have significant damage to your joint
Osteoarthritis isn't the only cause of injury in your hip joint. If you've suffered a hip fracture or have osteonecrosis, your hip is severely compromised. A hip replacement gives you a chance to have a better life with a new prosthetic joint.
What is the next step?
If you've tried conservative treatments but your hip pain persists, the next step is to talk to one of our orthopedic specialists about your options.
After our team reviews your symptoms, they order imaging studies to see the extent of the damage in your hip joint. You may need an X-ray or an MRI to determine the severity of your hip problem.
Once they have the complete picture of your hip pain, our team provides you with several treatment options, including a hip replacement if you meet the criteria.
If you're a good candidate for a hip replacement, you have the necessary bloodwork and evaluation to ensure you're healthy enough to undergo surgery.
Our team schedules you for your hip replacement surgery when we complete all of the prerequisites. We tell you how to prepare and what to avoid in the weeks or months following your procedure.
If you're tired of struggling with hip pain, don't hesitate to call our office in Daly City, California, today for a consultation or book online on our website.