When Does Hip Pain Require Surgery?

Severe progressive arthritic hip pain, usually located in the groin or deep buttock, can limit your daily activities and lower your quality of life. Early arthritic hip pain can be mild and annoying, limiting higher level exercise at first, and then, as it progresses, hip pain at night can wake you up or cause insomnia, because the bones themselves are actually causing pain. 

Osteoarthritis is a natural “wear and tear” arthritis, a common degenerative joint condition that causes progressive pain, stiffness, loss of mobility, and joint damage for millions of people in the U.S.  Hip replacement surgery has proven to be one of the most successful treatments to reduce, and, more often, eliminate pain and restore normal hip function.

Keep reading to learn 7 signs that indicate it may be time to consider surgery for hip pain. And then learn about how OJRCA can help you find safe, effective, and long-lasting pain relief.

7 Signs That Indicate It’s Time to Consider Hip Replacement Surgery

Pain felt directly over the front of the hip in the groin or thigh, or less commonly, in the deep buttock, is an indicator that pain is originating from the joint itself. Many patients feel as though they have pulled a groin muscle, or that they could have a hernia. The pain then becomes a nagging pain that won’t go away. Over months and years, it becomes progressive. Below are 7 signs that you likely have joint damage and that you may benefit from hip replacement surgery.

  1. Pain that limits daily activities

Pain that occurs with walking, climbing stairs, exercising, getting in and out of a vehicle, or driving is very common.  Likewise, losing the ability to put on shoes or socks, trouble trimming your toenails, and difficulties washing your feet or shaving your legs are all indicators of progressive loss of motion and suggests arthritis of the hip., Ignoring these signs can cause loss of mobility which can effect the eventual outcome of your surgery when the hip is finally replaced. We no longer suggest waiting “as long as you can” to do this surgery because the longevity and success rates have improved so greatly over the last 15-20 years.

  1. Progressive pain despite conservative treatments

Conservative treatments that may include numerous medications, activity modifications, and physical therapy are the usual first line for treatment. However, if you find that your strength and range of motion aren’t improving, or if your pain is persistent or progressing, then surgery may need to be discussed. 

  1. Overcompensation for pain

The development of a limp due to hip pain or limitations in range of motion can create other muscular aggravations, like pain in other joints and or back pain. Walking aids like canes can help short term but are signs that surgery is likely to help.

  1. Hip pain not relieved by rest

Rest pain or night pain that interferes with sleep, it is a sign of very advanced arthritis. It wears on patients quickly and usually requires surgery to replace the hip..

  1. Reduced range of motion

The arthritic hip joint becomes stiff, less flexible, and less mobile over time. You might start having trouble lifting your leg such as getting in and out of bed or a car, or moving your hip through its full range of motion. These are signs of worsening changes to the joint.

  1. X-rays reveal significant joint damage

MRI and CT scan imaging is rarely needed for the diagnosis of routine arthritis. Simple X-rays are typically adequate to reveal joint damage. As arthritis progresses, the cartilage wears away, decreasing the joint ”space” on the X-ray. Like a tread depth on a car tire, the cartilage occupies that space on the x-ray and, once gone, leads to “bone on bone” arthritis, which leaves the bones of the joint to rub against each other. Hip replacement surgery then is the only way to reduce your pain and restore your mobility again.

  1. Hip pain that causes anxiety or depression.

Chronic pain, of any type, can lead to overwhelming feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, hopelessness, and isolation. Pain takes a toll on every aspect of your life. You may find it difficult to concentrate at work, participate in your favorite activities, or enjoy social outings with family and friends. Even tolerable hip pain can wear you down after several months or years and cause you to lose interest in things you once enjoyed.      

OJRCA Performs Outpatient Total Hip Replacement

At Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America (OJRCA), we specialize in performing outpatient, minimally invasive total hip replacement procedures. Our patients are able to return home the same day of surgery, and are up and walking within 1-2 hours of their procedure. Patients return to their normal activities in a few days or weeks, rather than the months of recovery that is typical of most other methods.

We combine the latest in ultra minimally invasive muscle and tendon sparing, surgical techniques with our unique pain management protocol. This allows immediate mobilization after surgery with no activity limitations or hip “precautions” whatsoever, less postoperative pain, and markedly reduced or eliminated use of narcotics for our patients. 

Outpatient, minimally invasive surgeries have proven to be a highly favorable, safe, effective, cost-saving alternative to costly, inpatient hospital based, traditional large incision surgeries. Some of the primary benefits include:

  • Smaller incisions (some as short as 3 inches!)
  • Muscle sparing/Tendon sparing/Less trauma
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Reduced risk of operative/postoperative complications
  • Higher patient satisfaction
  • No restrictions/Limitations following surgery
  • Eliminates hospital stays 
  • Eliminates costly inpatient rehabilitation/home therapy. Our patients begin outpatient physical therapy 1-2 days after surgery
  • Markedly reduced recovery period…days to weeks not months  

If you’re suffering from chronic hip pain or stiffness, (or if your knees are arthritic…because we do those as outpatients too!!), and conservative measures aren’t effective to manage your symptoms, please call OJRCA. Our experienced team is here to sit down with you, provide a full evaluation, and discuss all treatment options with you. We’ve found that in over 80-90% of cases, total joint replacement surgery performed as an outpatient is proven as a safe AND better choice for patients with advanced arthritis.

Call us at 813-492-4412 or contact us online.    



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