(307) 358-6200


(307) 682-6222

Should I Have Hip Replacement Surgery?


Hip pain is common among adults. In fact, the results of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that among adults over 60 years of age, 12 to 15 percent reported chronic hip pain. Among adults who play sports, the numbers increase to as high as 30 to 40 percent. 

Although hip pain and stiffness are a normal part of the aging process, you don’t have to simply tolerate pain and discomfort. There are plenty of treatments and medications that can offer relief. However, if the usual treatments don’t work, your doctor may recommend hip replacement surgery.

Hip replacement surgery involves the removal of a hip joint and its subsequent replacement with an artificial joint made from implant-grade  plastic and metal components. If you’re considering getting this procedure, here are some of the important things you should know.

What Are the Signs I Might Need Hip Replacement Surgery?

Here are five signs that will help you decide whether hip replacement surgery is the right option for you:

#1. You Find It Difficult to Complete Routine Tasks

Hip joint disability will make it difficult, if not impossible for you to complete day-to-day tasks such as:

  • Balancing on one leg
  • Walking short distances
  • Wearing socks or shoes

#2. You Have Limited Range of Movement

Hip pain or joint stiffness can make bending, walking, or even lifting your leg extremely difficult. 

#3. You Have Chronic Pain

Hip injury or damage won’t just affect your hips. It’s possible for the pain to spread to your thighs and knees. Consult an orthopedic specialist right away if you’re experiencing severe pain or any of the symptoms below:

  • You need a walking aid to relieve the pain.
  • You walk with a limp to compensate for the pain.
  • You need to take painkillers regularly to deal with the pain.
  • Your medications don’t relieve the pain.
  • Resting doesn’t offer any pain relief.
  • The pain keeps you awake at night.
  • You find it painful to bend over or walk.

#4. Your Medications Are Causing Serious Side-Effects

Most pain medications are safe to use for short periods. They are, however, not meant for prolonged use. Some of the side effects that may develop from taking pain meds for too long are:

  • Ulcers
  • Stomach irritation
  • Tolerance

Other side effects such as increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clot may not be as easily apparent. This is why it’s important to consult your doctor as soon as you notice that your pain meds aren’t really helping. 

#5. You Have Significant Joint Damage or Advanced Arthritis

Joint damage in older adults is often due to advanced arthritis and other joint conditions that cause the cartilage to wear down from inflammation. If the tests show that you’re suffering from significant joint damage, surgery may be necessary.

What Are the Benefits and Risks of Getting Hip Replacement Surgery?

Total hip replacement is typically only recommended if other conservative treatments have failed. Before you undergo the procedure, you should have all the necessary information, including the potential risks and benefits.

Benefits Risks
Reduced Pain – Severe hip pain is often caused by the breakdown of the cartilage cushioning the bones. The surgery will remove the diseased cartilage, so most people will see a significant reduction, if not complete elimination, in the pain they’re experiencing. Artificial Hip Limitations – An artificial hip won’t be as robust as a natural one. You may not be able to perform certain movements such as crouching because the joint may get displaced.
Improved Mobility – Arthritis and other hip conditions lead to inflamed joints which can severely limit a person’s mobility. During the procedure, worn or damaged cartilage gets removed so any stiffness affecting the person’s mobility gets addressed. Changes in leg length – After the surgery, you may feel that one leg is shorter or longer than the other. This is actually a common risk because, while your surgeon will try their best to keep the lengths of both legs equal, their main priority during the procedure is to ensure the stability of your hips. 
Enhanced Quality of Life – Hip pain often affects the person’s day-to-day life, including their sleep. With the removal of the ailing hip, they can see a significant improvement in their quality of life since they can sleep better and continue participating in the activities they enjoy doing.

Are You a Candidate for Hip Replacement Surgery?

If you’re looking for the best orthopedic care in the Gillette or Douglas area, look no further than Thunder Basin Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Treating everything from fractures and traumatic injuries to joint replacement and sports injuries, Thunder Basin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine gives individualized treatment using a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body. 

Looking for the skilled staff and top surgeons to get you back on your feet and back in the game? Contact Thunder Basin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today. You can also find new patient paperwork here to get a head start on getting back to living life to its fullest and working toward becoming pain-free!