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When Is It Time to Say “Yes” to a Hip Replacement?

When Is It Time to Say “Yes” to a Hip Replacement?

The medical name for hip replacement surgery is hip arthroplasty, and it’s a relatively common procedure, with just under 950,000 performed from 2012-2021. However, simply knowing it’s a common procedure may not help you feel better about it. Understanding the benefits, though, is likely to give you more confidence.

The expert providers at all Orthocenter locations share a goal: to help you enjoy the highest quality of life possible through the least invasive methods. This means we want you to be active and mobile, and we only suggest surgery if it’s the most likely way for you to feel better. When we perform hip replacement surgery, we use minimally invasive techniques to help protect you so you can heal more quickly. 

The structure of your hip

Your hip is a big, mobile joint. Consider all the ways your hips can move—you can rotate your leg out or in, move it forward and backward, hinge at your hip, squat and sit, move in circles, and bend backward.

All that mobility is because your hip is a ball and socket joint. The top of your leg bone, or femur, is rounded and sits in a depression in your pelvis, which serves as a socket. Soft tissues like tendons, ligaments, and muscles hold the two parts of your hip joint together, allowing them to glide against each other without pain. 

Conditions that damage your hip

The number one reason people need hip replacement surgery is damage caused by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on your joints over time. The cartilage in your joints wears thin, allowing the bones to grind against each other and begin to degrade.

The second most common reason is also a type of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis. With this form of arthritis, your immune system attacks the lining of your joints, causing inflammation and damage.

Some people need hip replacement surgery because they have a condition called osteonecrosis, which means their bones don’t get enough blood supply to be healthy. If you’ve had a dislocation or fracture, you have a higher risk of developing osteonecrosis. 

When it’s time

Under most circumstances, we begin treating you with the least invasive possible approach. For example, anti-inflammatory medications, either pills or shots, may be a good place to start. We may also suggest physical therapy, targeted exercise, or losing some weight.

If you try those things and you’re still experiencing pain, it may be time to consider surgery. If your hip hurts even when you’re still and not moving, like when you’re lying in bed, it could indicate it’s time to escalate your treatment.

Living with chronic pain can lead to moodiness, depression, limited mobility, isolation, and other problems besides the issues causing the pain. Getting treatment is important to preserve your quality of life and overall health. 

Ready to talk about it? 

If you’re ready to consider your options, schedule an appointment at Orthocenter. We have offices in Red Bank, Morganville, Holmdel, and Eatontown, New Jersey, and our staff is always happy to answer your questions. 

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