The goal of hip replacement surgery is to relieve pain and increase the mobility and function of a damaged hip joint. If a stiff, painful hip joint has forced you to cut back on everyday activities, successful surgery may allow you to resume them.

Before thinking about surgery, though, your doctor may recommend other treatments, such as pain medications, physical therapy, exercise, and use of a cane or walker. If these treatments are not enough, hip replacement may be the right option for you.

Conditions that can damage the hip joint, sometimes necessitating hip replacement surgery, include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Broken hip
  • Bone tumor
  • Osteonecrosis, which occurs when there is inadequate blood supply to the ball portion of the hip joint

Symptoms that might lead you to consider hip replacement include:

  • Persistent pain, despite pain medication
  • Pain exacerbated by walking, even with a cane or walker
  • Poor sleep due to pain
  • Difficulty going up or down stairs
  • Trouble rising from a seated position
  • Inability to participate in formerly enjoyable activities because of pain
Apr. 19, 2011