Treating Severe Hip Pain with Hip Replacement
Your hip joints have a hefty load to bear. They support the weight of your body and are responsible for the movement of the upper leg and the range of motion needed to accommodate daily functions like walking, crouching, and climbing stairs. This makes the hip joint one of the largest weight-bearing joints in the entire body.
It’s no wonder then, that along with knees and shoulders, hip joints are one of the most common sources of joint pain in the body.
What’s Causing My Severe Hip Pain?
Pain in the body can be caused by a multitude of reasons, so discovering the source of your individual pain is an important process. Our fellowship-trained physicians at MidAmerica’s Total Joint Clinic take the time to thoroughly examine you to diagnose the source of your pain in order to recommend a treatment plan.
The most common causes of severe hip pain include:
- Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease) - This is an age-related “wear and tear” type of arthritis typically occurring in people 50 years of age and older or with those who have a family history of arthritis. Pain and stiffness present when the cartilage that cushions the bones of the hips wears away, forcing the bones to rub against each other.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – The most common among “inflammatory arthritis”, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the synovial membrane, damaging the cartilage and leading to pain and stiffness.
- Injury – Injuries such as hip fractures or labral tears, which is a tear in the cartilage surrounding the hip joint, can lead to severe pain, a catching sensation in the joint, or eventually, post traumatic arthritis.
It might surprise you to learn that hip pain can actually affect people of all ages, so age shouldn’t be something that stands in your way of asking for help in treating it. Being evaluated by a specialist to determine how best to treat your severe hip pain is the first step in getting back to being able to enjoy a full life again.
When Should I Consider Hip Replacement Surgery?
Deciding to have hip replacement surgery (also known as hip arthroplasty) should be a decision made between you, your family, and your orthopaedic specialist. Typically, there are several factors that can lead to the recommendation to have this surgery:
- Your hip pain is limiting your everyday activities such as walking or bending
- Your hip pain is chronic, meaning it continues whether resting or not, day or night
- Your mobility is being hindered, limiting your ability to move or lift your leg
- You’re not finding relief from alternative, non-surgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or walking supports
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement Surgery
The hip specialists at MidAmerica’s Total Joint Clinics in Palos Hills and Mokena are experienced in minimally invasive hip replacement surgery.
A minimally invasive procedure involves one or two small incisions in the hip as opposed to the large incision used in traditional replacement surgery. Smaller incisions create less of a disturbance to the muscles and tissues surrounding the procedure. While this is still considered a major procedure, using minimally invasive surgery can allow for reduced pain, better mobility, and a speedier recovery time following surgery.
Expectations After Surgery
In most cases, total hip replacement surgery results in significant function restoration and pain reduction in 90-95% of patients.
Having realistic expectations of what you can do with your new hip after hip replacement is important. Eventually, you should expect to be able to return to normal activities such as walking, driving, swimming, golfing, even dancing, along with other low-impact sports. Our Certified Physical Therapists (CPT) will work with you on a hip-strengthening physical therapy routine during your recovery that will increase your mobility as you heal and get you back in shape for resuming these activities.
Over time, normal use and activity may cause the implant to wear. If you get a hip replacement surgery when you are young, it is reasonable to expect that you may need to have another replacement in your lifetime to accommodate for this wear. Being overweight or participating in excessive activity can increase the normal wear and tear on the implant, so it is usually advised to avoid high-impact activities and sports and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Get Back to Living, Free of Severe Pain, with MidAmerica Orthopaedics
If you’re experiencing severe hip pain, it’s time to talk to an orthopaedic specialist. Our hip specialists will evaluate your case and help you decide if you’re a candidate for hip replacement surgery if non-surgical treatments aren’t working for you.
Don’t put off the chance at relief another day suffering with your severe pain. Our goal at MidAmerica Orthopaedics is to get you back to a comfortable, active lifestyle, with the quality of life that everyone deserves. Call us today.