Surgeons recommend hip replacements for patients whose symptoms include severe pain that interferes with daily activities, such as walking or rising from a chair, and who experience such pain for six months or longer, according to WebMD. Generally, surgeons first recommend non-surgical treatments, such as pain medication or walking aids.
If non-surgical treatments do not provide enough relief, a patient can consider a hip replacement surgery, also called total hip arthroplasty or THR, explains Mayo Clinic. A hip replacement improves the quality of life, increases joint mobility and decreases pain for up to 90 percent of hip replacement patients, according to WebMD.
Arthritis damage is the most common reason for hip replacement, according to Mayo Clinic. When a hip is replaced, the surgeon removes the damaged parts of the hip and replaces them most commonly with a metal or ceramic ball fitted into a hard plastic cup liner. Hip replacements tend to be more successful in people who are committed to a lifestyle change after the surgery, says WebMD. Patients who fail to exercise or manage their weight have a much higher complication and failure rate than patients who do these things.
Not all people with hip joint pain are good candidates for hip replacements, explains WebMD. Those with current or recent infections, pain when resting and not when walking, or other serious health complications, such as obesity, a history of heart attack or stroke, or uncontrolled diabetes, are not as likely to be helped by joint surgery.