If you have a hip problem, such as pain or stiffness, that is making normal activities increasingly challenging, you may have started to explore the different treatment options available. Hip replacement surgery may be a consideration to improve mobility, relieve pain, and help you return to a normal lifestyle when non-surgical treatments have failed to improved your symptoms.
What Causes Hip Pain?
The cartilage (soft tissue) that protects the hip joint and socket can get worn down or damaged, either through injury, a bone growth disorder, or more commonly, through osteoarthritis. The cartilage acts as a smooth lining that helps the femoral head (ball) and the acetabulum (socket) glide smoothly. If it gets damaged, it can cause the hip joint to become stiff and inflamed. Without the protection of the cartilage, the rough surfaces of the bones rub together and can result in pain and restricted mobility, making even simple tasks like putting socks on or getting out of a chair difficult.
Hip Replacement Surgery
Total hip replacement surgery, also known as hip arthroplasty, can be a life-changing procedure for any individual with a worn-out hip joint. It is a procedure in which the damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with prosthetic (artificial) components to allow for pain-free movement. The damaged femoral head (the ball section) is removed and replaced with a metal or ceramic ball, which is placed on the end of a metal stem, and cemented into the femur bone. The damaged cartilage on the surface of the acetabulum (socket) is replaced with a metal socket, which is usually held in place with screws or cement. A spacer is inserted between the ball and socket to create a smooth gliding surface.
A partial hip replacement, also known as a hemiarthroplasty, involves replacing the femoral head only and not the acetabulum. This procedure is more common in older patients suffering from a hip fracture and is an option when the acetabulum is healthy.
A minimally invasive hip arthroplasty is a type of hip replacement surgery that, like traditional total hip replacement surgery, also involves removing the damaged portion of the hip and replacing it with artificial implants, but minimally invasive hip arthroplasty uses smaller incisions allowing individuals to experience less pain, spend less time in the hospital, and have shorter recovery times.
Indicators For Hip Replacement Surgery
It is important to get a diagnosis for the cause of your hip pain in order to rule out any underlying health issues. Diagnostic imaging, such as an X-ray or MRI, may be necessary to achieve an accurate diagnosis and to assess the level of damage to the hip joint.
Age-related wear and tear, along with conditions such as arthritis can significantly damage your hip. Hip surgery can become more difficult and invasive as the damage gets worse, therefore early intervention and treatment is recommended to prevent further damage. Hip replacement surgery may be necessary to relieve pain and loss of function in the hip when lifestyle adjustments and non-surgical treatments have failed to work successfully. These can include pain and anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, exercise, and weight loss.
Other signs that indicate a hip replacement may be necessary include:
- Hip pain affects your overall quality of life
- Normal, everyday activities like walking, standing, sitting, bending over, and climbing stairs cause pain or become difficult
- You experience hip or groin pain even when resting or when the joint is not in use
- Range of motion is significantly reduced in your hip joint
- You are unable to stand on your problem leg for longer than a few minutes (even when supported or holding on to something)
For many patients, having total hip replacement surgery is the best way to get rid of chronic or unbearable joint pain and to significantly improve hip function and mobility. Hip surgery is considered safe but like with all types of surgery, there can be risks associated with it. Your orthopaedic surgeon will discuss all the pros and cons with you and help you decide if hip replacement surgery is a viable option.
Total Hip Replacement Surgery in the Greater Kansas City Area
If you are suffering from long-term hip pain, talk to the board-certified orthopaedic surgeons at Midwest Orthopaedics. We specialize in total hip replacement and offer a number of other services to treat your joint pain including physical therapy and sports medicine.
To find out more about our services, or to discuss your options and ease your concerns about hip replacement surgery, call us today at (913) 362-8317 or you can use our secure online appointment request form.