Signs You May Need a Hip Replacement
Hip replacements are considered serious procedures. That’s because the hip helps support walking and bending functions for the body, and when stiffness and no-relief pain interferes, the condition can cause further health problems that greatly reduce one’s quality of life.
Hip pain can have multiple causes, and for most people, the pain they experience is temporary. For others, however, it’s a chronic, everyday condition that actively impedes people’s lives. When the pain’s severe enough that it interferes with your everyday life, it may be time to consider a hip replacement.
How Does the Hip Joint Work?
As one of the largest joints in the body second to the knee, the joint contains the acetabulum, part of the pelvic bone that forms the socket and the upper end of the femur, forming the ball. The hip bone is coated with articular cartilage for cushioning, the ball and socket support the upper body by using synovial membranes, tissues surrounding the hip to reduce friction. When the hip experiences damage, the cartilage wears down to the point where the bones rub against each other, causing significant pain.
What Conditions Cause Hip Pain?
When the bones of the hip begin to rub against each other, the stiffness and pain experienced can be unbearable and can become worse if not treated. Certain diseases and conditions can increase the likelihood of this pain, such as:
- Arthritis – Arthritis wears down the synovial fluid, causing it to inflame and resulting in the bones rubbing together. Without this cartilage, the bones will wear down, and in advanced cases of arthritis, surgery will be required.
- Avascular Necrosis – This condition occurs when the blood supply to the femoral head is limited due to hip dislocation or fracture. When blood supply isn’t able to resupply the area with red and white blood cells, the bone tissues will begin to disintegrate. Also called osteonecrosis, the condition will worsen in time if not treated.
How to Tell if You Need A Hip Replacement
Your doctor will prescribe replacement surgery if one’s quality of life has significantly diminished due to the person’s condition. If the pain caused by the hips reduces a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks, then your doctor will determine if replacement surgery is what you need. However, there are clearer signs you can notice if you believe you may need a hip replacement, which include:
- Your pain keeps you awake at night.
- Your pain limits your ability to walk upstairs, get in vehicles, or get up from a chair.
- Your hip pain removes you from your normal activities, such as walking, swimming, etc.
- You have tried other treatments, such as physical therapy, walking aids, and medication, and the pain insists.
Hip replacement surgery is not an urgent, mandatory procedure, but rather an elective one. If you feel you may benefit from a hip replacement, then contact Dr. Luc Teurlings at Space Coast Orthopedics. Located in Merritt Island, FL, Dr. Teurlings specializes in hip replacement surgeries and therapies, giving his patients the highest quality care to his local community. Contact Dr. Teurlings today to schedule an appointment.