When your loved one's quality of life suffers due to hip pain and limited function, it may be time for hip arthroplasty (replacement). Signs of declining quality of life include (but are not limited to):
Inability to get restful sleep because of pain
Difficulty doing simple tasks such as getting dressed or climbing stairs
Persistent back pain without explanation
Inability to participate in the activities they enjoy
At first, the provider may recommend other treatments such as medicine for pain or inflammation, walking aids, joint injections, and physical therapy. If these measures do not relieve the problems, hip replacement surgery may be necessary to restore function and improve quality of life.
Indications for hip arthroplasty (replacement)
This surgery is usually performed on adults after other treatments have failed to help. A hip replacement may be needed because of:
Osteoarthritis - commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis damages the slick cartilage that covers the ends of bones and helps joints move smoothly
Inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis) - caused by an overactive immune system, inflammatory arthritis erodes cartilage and occasionally underlying bone, resulting in damaged and deformed joints
Injuries, like a hip fracture or dislocation from a fall
Developmental hip dysplasia
An injury that didn’t heal right
Osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis) - when there isn't enough blood supply to the ball portion of the hip joint, such as might result from a dislocation or fracture, the bone collapses and deforms
Tumor in the hip joint
Childhood (congenital) hip disorders
Why hip arthroplasty (replacement)?
The primary goal of any orthopedic care is to relieve pain and restore function, to return someone to their active lifestyle. Nonsurgical treatments might be able to accomplish the desired results, though the provider will recommend surgery when other, less invasive methods have been exhausted (medicines, injections, physical therapy, weight loss, and assistive devices).
Hip arthroplasty is usually indicated in cases of severe damage or disease of the hip, whereby these other treatment options have failed to relieve pain and restore function.
Age, health history, other medical conditions, and the status of the hip joint itself also factor into whether hip replacement surgery is appropriate.