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How To Avoid Hip Replacement Surgery

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the amount of hip replacement procedures performed each year has more than doubled over the last decade. The most common reason for hip replacement osteoarthritis which involves the breakdown of cartilage on the surface of the hip joint. This causes inflammation and pain, necessitating surgery in most cases.

While some situations, such as those involving genetics, trauma, fractures, or arthritis, are unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to ensure you keep your hip joint forever.

What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement is a surgical procedure where the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant called a hip prosthesis.  This procedure may involve a total replacement or a semi-replacement of the joint. A total hip replacement consists of replacing the acetabulum and femoral head while a semi-replacement typically only replaces the femoral head.

 

Why People Need Hip Replacement Surgery?

People often need hip replacement surgery because their hip joint is being worn down, resulting in osteoarthritis. When the hip joint is worn or damaged to the extent that a person’s mobility is affected and pain is experienced even when resting, it may be time to consider a hip replacement.

 

Other conditions that can cause hip joint damage include:

 

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Hip fracture
  • Septic arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Bone Dysplasias

Is Hip Replacement the First Choice?

No, when possible.  

Before suggesting a hip replacement surgery, your surgeon may suggest walking aids, or non-surgical therapies involving medication and physical therapy. However, these therapies are not always effective when it comes to relieving pain and improving mobility. Hip replacement may be an option for you if you experience disabling and persistent pain that interfere with daily activities. The extent of this damage should be detectable on x-rays, which will help your doctor decide on the best course of action.

How to Avoid Hip Replacement Surgery

There are several ways to avoid a hip replacement surgery, though these factors will largely depend on the patient’s condition and circumstances. These options may help patients avoid the need for a total or hemi hip replacement procedure.

These options include:

Weight Management:

Preventing a hip replacement surgery begins with maintaining healthy joint through proper weight. Every 10lbs of weight results in 75-100 extra pounds across the joints, breaking down the protective cushion that cartilage provides.

Injections:

Corticosteroids reduce inflammation, which is part of the immune system’s response, which causes pain and swelling.

Physical Therapy:

Strengthening and stretching exercises for the hip can minimize and reduce osteoarthritis pain and stiffness. Keeping these muscles strong and engaged can prevent painful symptoms and complications.

Joint Injections:

Therapeutic injections can provide long-term pain relief and keep patients active. These injections typically involve anti-inflammatory medications injected directly into the hip joint.

Supplements/Medications:

Some conditions, like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis, benefit from medications like Humira. This medication, called a biologic, suppresses your immune system’s natural inflammatory response, reducing pain and discomfort and slowing down the natural progression of the disease.  In some cases, hip replacement can be postponed indefinitely.

Want More Information? Contact Us

It’s our mission to provide safe and necessary treatment options to our patients. If you are experiencing hip pain or believe you hip replacement surgery, please do not hesitate to contact us at 212-606-1992. You’ll receive an extensive one-on-one appointment so you can choose the best treatment option for you.