When Should One Have a Hip Replacement?


Quick Answer

When hip pain interferes with an individual's quality of life and other treatments do not bring relief, hip replacement surgery should be considered, notes WebMD. Bone damage that is likely to become worse with waiting is another indicator a patient should consider surgery.

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Full Answer

Surgeons perform approximately 300,000 hip replacement surgeries annually in the United States, and 90 percent of the patients are able to return to their normal activities within a few months of the procedure, according to WebMD. Many of these patients feel an almost immediate relief from their hip pain; however, surgery is not for everyone. Patients who have suffered recent infections or have other health issues are not always good candidates for surgery. If the cause of hip pain is unidentified, surgery does not always bring relief.

Hip replacement surgery requires general anesthesia or a spinal block, according to Mayo Clinic. The surgeon makes an incision through the front or side of the leg and removes the damaged bone. He then attaches a prosthetic socket to the hip and a prosthetic ball to the femur. Surgical hip replacement procedures continue to evolve, with surgeons hoping to develop less invasive procedures that reduce pain and shorten healing times. As of 2015, studies comparing traditional open hip replacement with newer procedures show mixed results.

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