You may need hip replacement surgery when arthritis limits your everyday activities such as walking. Hip replacement is recommended only after careful diagnosis of your joint problem. Surgery is likely to be needed when you have little pain relief from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or if other treatments, such as physical therapy, do not relieve hip pain.
Certain conditions can cause hip stiffness and pain, affecting rest and limiting even simple daily activities such as walking and bending, or moving and lifting your leg.
Conditions that may contribute to a need for hip replacement surgery include:
- Osteoarthritis affects the hip when the breakdown of cartilage leads to pain, swelling and deformity. This can cause pain while walking because the damaged cartilage is unable to absorb the shock or impact.
- Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to severe pain, stiffness and swelling. When this chronic inflammatory condition occurs in the hip joint, it can cause discomfort or stiffness in the thigh and groin, and affect a person’s mobility.
As with any form of surgery, a total hip replacement comes with risks such as blood clots, infection and injury to the nerves or blood vessels, among others. Those with severe rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, diabetes or haemophilia may face a higher risk of complications and therefore it is important to speak to your surgeon and have all your questions answered before you decide if the surgery is right for you.
Joint replacements usually last 10 – 15 years, after which hip revision surgery may be needed.