What symptoms show that I might benefit from a hip replacement?
The main reason for having the operation is that you have a lot of pain and stiffness that cannot he helped by other treatments. The pain and stiffness can affect your ability to walk, to climb stairs, to get out of a chair and to undertake normal everyday household activities.
Sometimes you will be aware of a grating or grinding feeling coming from your hip. This is called crepitus. Sometimes your hip just doesn't move as well as it used to.
Symptoms will often vary from day to day - sometimes for no apparent reason. This is really common.
Is there anything I can do to put off needing a hip replacement?
Usually you will have seen a physiotherapist and have exercises to do, as well as having been taking painkillers for the pain, before considering a hip replacement. Special hip exercises help to strengthen, stretch and stabilise the structures that support your hip. General exercise, such as walking or cycling, helps to reduce the pain. Swimming is particularly good as the water supports the weight of your body so you don't put as much strain on your joints. Exercise not only helps with the pain and stiffness but also means that, if the time does come when you need to have a hip replacement, you are likely to recover more quickly.
It is when painkillers and exercises have stopped helping that it is time to think about hip replacement surgery.
Did you find this information useful?
- Primary Total Hip Replacement: A Guide to Best Practice; British Orthopaedic Association (2012)
- Arthritis of the hip (end stage) - hip replacement (total) and resurfacing arthroplasty; NICE Technology Appraisal Guidance, February 2014
- National Joint Registry
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