Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and injury can all cause damage to your hip joint, leading to chronic hip pain. Damage to your hip joint causes the head of your femur to grind against your pelvis while you're moving at the hips, which can cause severe pain. Physical therapy and prescription anti-inflammatory medication can help alleviate the pain, but they're not always successful at providing complete relief.
Hip replacement surgery, in which your damaged hip joint is replaced with an artificial one that's fused to your bones, is often more successful at alleviating pain than more conservative treatments. However, it's a major surgery, and recovering from a hip replacement can be quite a lengthy process. Deciding whether or not to undergo hip replacement surgery can sometimes be difficult because of that fact. However, it's definitely worth it in some circumstances due to its effectiveness. If you're wondering if surgery is the right choice for you, read on to learn when it's a good idea to consider getting a hip replacement.
Your Pain Is Spreading to Your Knees or Lower Back
When someone has chronic pain in their bones, muscles, or joints, they'll often subconsciously alter the way that they move in order to avoid causing their pain to flare. Limiting your movement at the hip can make it less painful to walk or stand up. However, shifting pressure away from your hip in order to prevent pain will place the pressure on other parts of your body, such as your knees and your lower back. This excess pressure can damage those parts of your body, leading to the development of chronic pain.
If your hip pain seems to be spreading, it may be a good idea to have a hip replacement surgery performed in order to restore your mobility. You'll avoid causing further damage to your bones or muscles, which can make chronic pain worse.
You Avoid Activity Due to Your Hip Pain
If your hip pain flares up every time that you move, you're less likely to remain active. You may even avoid gentle forms of exercise such as walking around your neighborhood. Unfortunately, avoiding activity will lead to your muscles becoming weaker due to the fact that you're not using them. This can cause your hip pain to worsen. Strong muscles will absorb some of the force that's placed on your hip joint when you stand or walk. When your muscles weaken, more force will be carried by your damaged hip joint, leading to worsening pain. Hip replacement surgery can help reduce your pain and let you be more active again, preventing a lack of activity from causing your chronic hip pain to become even worse.
Your Hip Pain Prevents You From Sleeping Well
Mild cases of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis that damage the hip joint often only cause pain when you're moving. Severe cases can cause persistent pain, even while you're resting in bed. This can prevent you from sleeping through the entire night, and it's difficult to prevent hip pain while you're in bed — no matter what position you sleep in, you'll always be placing some sort of pressure on your damaged hip joint.
While anti-inflammatory medication can sometimes help reduce the pain that you feel while resting in bed, it's not always completely effective. If you're having trouble sleeping at night due to your chronic hip pain, you may be a good candidate for hip replacement surgery. Getting a good night's sleep is important for your overall health, and alleviating the pain by getting surgery will help you sleep through the night again.
Overall, you should consider getting hip replacement surgery when your hip pain significantly interferes with your daily life or causes you to limit your physical activity. Hip replacement surgery is a major surgery with a lengthy recovery time, but it's often the best option for someone whose chronic hip joint is greatly affecting their quality of life.
For more information about hip replacement surgery, talk to your doctor.