Constant hip pain is hard to live with because it can severely limit your mobility. Simple things you take for granted like bending over, walking up the stairs or walking for more than a few minutes can become practically impossible with hip pain.
When experiencing hip pain, many people immediately think their next stop will be under the surgeon's knife. There's no reason to fear hip surgery, especially with its many medical advances, but surgery is not always necessary.
If you do require hip surgery, keep in mind that more than 300,000 have a complete hip replacement every year in the U.S., and approximately 90% of them feel much better and are able to get back to their normal routines within months, sometimes weeks, after their surgery.
Here are a few signs hip surgery may be necessary for you:
You've Tried Everything Else and Nothing Works to Alleviate Hip Pain
No orthopedist will ever recommend hip surgery before trying a host of other options first. If you've tried taking ibuprofen, had cortisone shots, have gone through physical therapy, have tried using crutches or a walker and still the pain persists, then there's a good chance you will need hip surgery.
Completing Daily Tasks Has Become Impossible without Assistance
In many cases, deciding whether to have surgery or not depends on the severity of the pain. If you're unable to do simple things without help, you may need hip surgery. Of course, this is only the case if you've tried simpler solutions first and nothing helps.
The Drugs You're Taking Are Causing Serious Side Effects
If the drugs you are taking for the pain in your hip are causing serious side effects and you've tried other options that either don't work or have the same effects, then it's time for hip surgery. Drugs might stop your hip pain but if you're stuck in bed because of lethargy or are throwing up on a constant basis, or, even worse, are suffering from an ulcer, you're doing yourself more harm than good.
You Have Severe Osteoarthritis
In some cases, if you suffer from severe osteoarthritis and it is having a serious impact on your emotional, mental and physical well-being, it might be time for hip surgery. The benefits of the surgery will far outweigh the drawbacks as you'll be able to recover your zest for life once the pain is gone.
You Suffer from Advanced Arthritis
If you've gone through the entire battery of tests and your doctor has found significant joint damage that can't be repaired non-surgically or advanced arthritis, they will likely recommend hip surgery. In these cases, medication won't do much other than mask the pain while the problem persists or even gets worse, which is why surgery is necessary to correct the issue as soon as possible.
Your Doctor Says You Need Hip Surgery
If your doctor recommends hip surgery, it's a good bet you will need hip surgery. A good orthopedist will have tried a myriad of other options before coming to the conclusion that surgery is necessary, so if he or she advises you that it's time, then it's time. Look on the bright side, you'll be able to move without pain after the surgery.
These are just some of the signs hip surgery may be necessary. The fact is you can only make a decision once you've spoken to a qualified and experienced orthopedist.
At Augusta Health, we can help you age gracefully. If you are experiencing pain and are worried that hip surgery may be necessary, give our Joint Center a call at (540) 332-5047. One of our excellent orthopedists will work with you to find the best solution for your situation. And if hip surgery turns out to be your only option, don't worry because you're in the best hands.