About 10% of Americans suffer from chronic hip pain, a joint problem that, like a lot of other joint problems, becomes more common with age.
While some women and men are able to manage their symptoms conservatively with medication and physical therapy, others need more aggressive treatment to relieve symptoms and restore normal joint function.
For those men and women, hip replacement surgery can be a welcome solution.
At Orange Orthopaedic Associates, board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon James M. Lee Jr, MD, offers patients advanced hip replacement surgeries using both traditional and minimally invasive options.
If you’re suffering from hip pain, here’s when Dr. Lee might suggest joint replacement surgery.
Conservative treatment options haven’t helped
As mentioned, Dr. Lee typically opts for conservative treatments for hip pain as the first line of treatments.
Pain medicine and anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and hip injections provide relief for many patients with mild to moderate pain and dysfunction. But they’re not always enough.
If these options aren’t helping you, it’s probably time to consider hip replacement surgery.
You need higher doses of medicine to find relief
Maybe you found some relief from medication, and initially, the dose you were prescribed was enough to help you stay mobile. But now you find you need more medicine to keep your pain under control.
Many pain medicines can cause significant side effects (even non-opioid options). If medicine isn’t as effective as it used to be, hip surgery might be a good choice for long-term relief without ever-increasing doses of pain medicine.
Your hip pain is interfering with everyday activities
If you have a little occasional pain when you get up in the morning or you’re stiff standing up after sitting for a while, that’s not really unusual, especially if you’re older or you have arthritis elsewhere.
But if your symptoms make it hard to walk, bathe, dress, go grocery shopping, or even sit, surgery could be what you need to get back to your normal routine.
You have pain when placing weight on your leg
If you have significant pain when you balance your weight on one leg or you have increasing pain when doing weight-bearing activities, you may have hip arthritis or other damage that responds best to surgery.
Many people with chronic hip pain find activities like climbing stairs cause significant pain, making it hard for them to perform day-to-day activities.
You have hip pain when resting
Hip pain may be more common when you move the joint or put weight on it, but if your hip joint is badly damaged, you can have pain when lying down, too.
In fact, you may find that hip pain makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep — another sign that it might be time to talk about joint replacement surgery.
You regularly rely on a cane or other assistive device
Canes, walkers, and other devices can really lend a helping hand when your hip dysfunction makes it hard to get around. But there comes a time when using such devices can be cumbersome, especially if you have arthritis in your hands or arms.
If you find yourself relying on these devices more and more or if it’s painful to use these devices, talk to Dr. Lee about hip replacement surgery.
Your hip pain is causing other problems
Many people who have chronic pain find it hard to take part in activities they once enjoyed. That can quickly lead to isolation, sadness, and depression. If you find that your hip symptoms are taking a toll on your mental health, it’s definitely time to ask about hip replacement surgery.
Find out if hip replacement can help you
Today’s hip replacement surgeries use special techniques to help you heal faster and more comfortably. In fact, most of our patients are able to resume most or all of their normal daily activities within six weeks or so, with full recovery in several months.
Don’t let chronic hip pain interfere with your life. Book an appointment online or over the phone at our office in West Orange or Bayonne, New Jersey, and learn how Dr. Lee can help.