Total hip replacement (THR) surgery helps thousands of patients every year. Because it’s an elective procedure, the decision to undergo surgery is entirely up to the patient. Which raises the question:
How do I know when it’s time?
A THR is indicated for patients who suffer from severe, symptom-producing hip arthritis that doesn’t respond to non-surgical treatment. Four signs that it’s time to have a THR are:
- Groin Pain. The development of groin pain is a sign that hip arthritis has reached the point where a replacement can be necessary. Once groin pain presents, many patients have difficulty walking, even standing. This is one of the most limiting symptoms of hip arthritis and a sure-fire sign that a replacement is likely.
- Inability to perform day-to-day activities. Once patients can no longer perform daily activities necessary to live a happy, functional life, it’s a good time to get a replacement. Walking, getting dressed, and going to the bathroom are the three most important activities that patients should be able to do on their own.
- Arthritis has reached the point where it’s bone-on-bone. X-rays read by an orthopedic specialist that show bone-on-bone rubbing can be a strong indicator that its time for a replacement, in combination with limiting symptoms due to the arthritis.
- Inability to sleep. Pain that wakes or keeps patients up throughout the night can be resolved once the arthritic hip is replaced.
When making their final decision, patient should keep any, all, or any combination of these four signs in mind. They should also always seek the expert advice and opinion of an orthopedic specialist. Their education, knowledge, and experience allow them to steer patients in the right direction during the decision-making process.
A THR is a 2-3 hour procedure done under general anesthesia. Patients are usually allowed to return home following a 2-3-night hospital stay. However, some patients can even go home the same day!
Recovery is physical therapy can take 6-8 months for complete recovery. Results are remarkable—some of the best in all of orthopedic surgery.
When you’re ready to talk to one of our orthopedic specialists about your hip condition, please don’t hesitate to give contact one of our 5 Fairfield County locations. The road to a pain-free, functional life starts when you walk through our doors.