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Important Questions about Hip Replacement

Considering about Hip Replacement surgery? Suffering from Chronic Pain? Here are answers to some of the questions you may have.

What is a total hip replacement?

Also called hip arthroscopy, total hip replacement is surgery to remove damaged hip bone and cartilage and replace it with prosthetic materials. Hip replacement surgery is designed for people with long-standing persistent pain and disability. Hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful operations in all of medicine, and offers significant pain reduction and improved function.

Why should I have a hip replacement?

Hip replacement surgery is recommended when the hip joint is damaged and causes pain, inflammation and stiffness, and difficulty walking, and interferes with daily life. The most common cause is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes the breakdown of cartilage in the hip joint, causing bones to rub against each other, which generates significant pain.

Your Pinehurst surgeon may recommend hip replacement surgery when:

  • your hip joint is severely degenerated,
  • you have tried conservative treatments and still have persistent hip pain,
  • pain limits your everyday activities including those that bring you pleasure,
  • you have pain day and/or night, even while resting,
  • your hip is stiff and limits your mobility, and
  • you cannot achieve adequate pain relief from therapy, medications and walking aids.

This surgery will decrease pain, increase mobility, and improve your quality of life.

Who should have it?

For most people, total hip replacement surgery is an elective procedure. You can decide not to have a hip replacement. However, studies show that it is best to have hip joint replacement before the joint is seriously deteriorated, because it provides better outcomes.

Symptoms may get worse suddenly and then improve. This on-again off-again pain and disability is not an indication for surgery. Conservative measures may help to alleviate symptoms. Persistent pain and disability is an indication for surgery. Whether you are a good candidate depends on your overall health and activity level.

What are the alternatives?

Even if you have severe arthritis, if you can function “well-enough” but would like relief from pain, there are effective, nonsurgical treatments that might help you avoid or delay a hip replacement. Physical therapy, activity modification, rest, use of walking aids like a cane or walker, anti-inflammatory medications, and injections can help.

If a trial of conservative measures fails to relieve your pain and improve your function, and you have significant disability, you may wish to consider joint replacement.

How long will a joint replacement last?

Studies report that hip replacements can last more than 20 years, but they do wear out.

Patients who are overweight or who participate in high-impact sports should understand that this may accelerate wear and tear on the replaced hip joint.

Your Pinehurst surgeon will recommend against activities like jogging, running, jumping and other high-impact sports, after hip replacement. However, yoga, walking & hiking, dancing, golf, tennis and swimming   are all activities that you can realistically expect to do.

What else should I know?

Hip Replacement surgery usually requires a hospital stay of 1-3 days. At Pinehurst Surgical our hip surgeons are experts in the use of minimally invasive techniques that require only small incisions and faster recovery, cause less pain and provide improved joint stability.

When you can’t live with the pain and disability, it is time to talk with your Pinehurst specialist to discuss next steps. Careful planning can deliver good results and reduce potential complications. Pinehurst Surgical has many convenient locations in Pinehurst and central North Carolina. Talk to an expert. Give us a call.

At Pinehurst Surgical, each of our surgeons in Pinehurst, Sanford, Troy, Rockingham, Laurinburg and Raeford, NC is truly a specialist in his or her field. So whether you’re coming in for a routine checkup or a major surgery, you can feel confident knowing that your problem will be treated in the most thoughtful, dedicated manner possible.