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How Do I Know If I Need Hip Surgery?

Hip replacement and revision surgeries are performed on over a million people every year, according to the Mayo Clinic. Whether or not you need hip surgery is a discussion you’ll need to have with your orthopedic surgeon. Hip surgery gives many people relief from their hip pain and mobility issues, but some conditions, like degenerative osteoarthritis, may not benefit enough to merit undergoing surgery.

How Do I Get a Diagnosis?

To determine whether or not you need hip surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will perform an examination of your hip, examine x-rays, and ask you to perform some basic physical tests. Be prepared to describe your pain, give your medical and family history, and list out any injuries you may have suffered to your hip in the past. You may want to keep a record of your hip pain in the weeks prior to your appointment with your orthopedic surgeon—times when your pain is at its peak, any activities that trigger your hip pain, and how long it takes for your pain to subside are all helpful indicators of the severity of your condition.

Signs That You May Need a Hip Replacement

Your symptoms and levels of pain will be unique to your condition, level of personal health, and age, among other factors. However, there are several common signs that may indicate that you need a hip replacement or revision.

  1. Your hip pain has lasted for more than a month, recurs frequently, or worsens over time

  2. You experience hip pain during and after exercising

  3. Your pain or level of mobility interferes with your normal activities

  4. Medication and walking aids do not help relieve your pain

  5. You have trouble standing after sitting for long periods of time

  6. Your pain interferes with your sleep

  7. Your hip is stiff or visibly swollen

  8. You can feel your hip joint “grating” when you walk or bend

  9. You’ve previously injured your hip and the pain is worsening

  10. You feel hip pain when it rains

  11. You have difficulty climbing stairs

  12. You struggle to get in and out of chairs or bathtubs

  13. You have stiffness in your hip in the mornings that lasts less than 30 minutes (if stiffness lasts longer than 45 minutes in the morning, it may be a sign that you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis)

If you are experiencing any, or a combination of, these symptoms, talk to your orthopedic surgeon about the possibility of hip surgery as a treatment. In the Anchorage area, call Orthopedic Research Clinic of Alaska today for an appointment.


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