3 Signs It's Time for a Hip Replacement

Like all joints, your hips undergo a lot of wear and tear over your lifetime, and if you live long enough, they’ll eventually wear out. 

Fortunately, modern science allows us to replace your hip joint with a brand-new, sturdier, longer-lasting model. Advanced technology has streamlined the procedure, and it’s one of our specialties at Coastal Ortho. And since we’ve teamed up with the renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, we can offer world-class facilities to ensure that if you need a hip replacement, the procedure goes smoothly and you receive the best care. 

However, don’t assume you need a hip replacement just because your hip hurts. There are many conservative treatments to treat painful hip joints, and we employ them all before recommending surgery. If and when those measures no longer help, it may be time to discuss hip replacement. 

Read on to learn about non-surgical alternatives to a hip replacement, and find out more about the telltale signs that indicate it’s time to consider surgery.

Non-surgical alternatives to hip surgery

Surgery is never our front-line solution for hip pain. The first thing we do is determine the underlying cause. It could be a fracture, an infection, a bone spur, arthritis, or bursitis, to name a few possible conditions. Treating the root problem often resolves the pain and eliminates the need for surgery. Here are some ways we address hip pain.

Lifestyle changes

Sometimes, a few simple (or not-so-simple) habit changes can do wonders for your hip joints. Losing weight, for example, relieves excess stress on your hips and knees.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking farther from store entrances are great ways to get your steps in and lose weight, but we recommend the opposite if you have hip pain. Standing, walking, and climbing exacerbate hip pain, so we may recommend using a cane or walker to help you get around while your hip joint heals. 

Physical therapy

Too much walking and climbing can worsen your hip pain, but not getting enough exercise can also be a problem, because sitting around doing nothing weakens your muscles. 

Physical therapy gets you moving safely. Our experienced physical therapists know how to target the muscles that support your hips without further damaging the joint. Working with our team takes the guesswork out of your workout.


Since inflammation can both cause and worsen hip pain, anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen provide temporary relief. For more severe pain, we may prescribe corticosteroid injections.

Signs you may need hip replacement surgery

If you’ve tried non-surgical treatments to no avail, it may be time to consider hip replacement surgery. Here are three specific scenarios that indicate surgery may be the best option.

1. Hip pain and stiffness interfere with daily activities

One of the most significant signs that you might need a hip replacement is when hip pain and stiffness start to interfere with your daily activities. 

If tasks like climbing stairs, walking, or even getting dressed become increasingly difficult due to pain or limited mobility in your hip, it may be time to consider this procedure.

2. Hip or groin pain when at rest

Sometimes, problems in your hip joint travel to your groin, spreading the discomfort to a larger region. Groin and hip pain that persists even when you're at rest can also be a telltale sign that you need next-level repair procedures. 

If your hip hurts even while sitting or lying down, and the pain is severe enough to disturb your sleep, your hip joint may have deteriorated beyond what conservative measures can address.

3. Bone-on-bone friction

Arthritis wears away the cartilage in your hip joint, causing your bones to rub against each other. This bone-on-bone friction can be incredibly painful and debilitating, not to mention progressively damaging. If your arthritis has reached this stage, hip replacement surgery is often the best course of action.

Comprehensive care for your hip pain problem

Whether you’re in need of expert evaluation for your hip pain, you’d like to see what physical therapy can do for you, or you recognize the telltale signs indicating you might be ready for a hip replacement, we can help. Contact Coastal Ortho in Torrance and El Segundo, California, to schedule an exam today.