Suffering Through Hip Pain? 4 Signs You May Need a Hip Replacement

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone — that’s more than just a song lyric; it’s the reality of hip pain. Gone are the days when you could easily jump in and out of your car and dance the night away without a hitch, but does that mean it’s time to consider a hip replacement?

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons and hip joint experts at Coastal Ortho get that question often. An artificial hip joint can restore full function and pain-free movement, whether you suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteonecrosis (lack of blood flow to your hip). That’s why we’ve put together this list of telltale signs you may be a good candidate for hip replacement surgery. 

1. Conservative treatments aren’t working

The first course of treatment for hip pain is always conservative because, often, all it takes is an anti-inflammatory medication to ease the internal swelling and relieve pain and stiffness. Pain medication can take the edge off the discomfort, so you can perform daily activities without limping or using assistive devices. 

But for some, drugs don’t work well or aren’t an option due to side effects or addiction. In this case, a hip replacement can solve the problem and eliminate the need for medication.

Physical therapy is another conservative treatment that can reduce your hip pain and increase your mobility. If the pain persists, however, hip replacement surgery may be in order.

2. Your hip pain stops you from doing everyday tasks

Most people deal with occasional aches and pains after working all day in the garden or playing a pick-up game of basketball on the weekend, but it generally resolves after rest and conservative treatments. Hip pain that interferes with your ability to perform daily activities, such as housework, grocery shopping, and caring for your children or grandchildren, may warrant hip replacement surgery.

3. Extreme stiffness limits your mobility

More than 100 types of arthritis can attack your joints. The two most likely to affect your hips are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis occurs when years of use destroy the protective cartilage in your joint, leading to painful bone-on-bone friction. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your body’s defense system to attack its own tissue — in this case, the lining of your joints.

While each condition has unique symptoms and causes, they share one classic trait: crippling joint stiffness. In the early stages of arthritis, anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy can get you moving again, but when the damage is too severe, a hip replacement is the only way to restore your flexibility and mobility. 

4. You have hip pain even at rest

Joint pain always feels worse when you move your limb, and rest is usually the ticket to pain relief. But if your hip hurts even while you’re at rest — especially if it routinely wakes you up at night — it could be a sign that you need a hip replacement. 

The good news about hip replacement surgery

If you’re facing hip replacement surgery, there’s no need for concern. In fact, you’re in store for a brand new way of life without pain and stiffness. Our surgeons at Coastal Ortho are experienced hip replacement experts and have successfully performed this procedure countless times. 

More than 95% of people who have hip replacement surgery report significant pain relief, and that rate stays constant for about 10 years. After 20 years, up to 85% of people with artificial hips still report pain-free joint mobility and function.

Hip replacement surgery doesn’t just help you put an end to joint pain and stiffness; it also eliminates your need for medication and assistive devices. 

If you’re ready to lose the hip pain and regain your life, we can help. Call today or click online any time to schedule a visit at your nearest Coastal Ortho location — we have three offices in Torrance, California, and one office in El Segundo, California.