Gain mobility and decrease pain through total or partial hip replacement  

Patrice Beliveau, MD

With the weather growing colder by the day, you may be feeling an achiness in your joints. While this stiffness could be chalked up to atmospheric pressure, it’s important to pay attention to similar pains, especially in areas like your hips, that may indicate a more serious issue.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, more than 450,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed each year, including partial hip replacements. These operations are considered one of the most common joint surgeries in the United States.

Partial or total hip replacements may be needed after the onset of bone and joint diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or osteonecrosis. These conditions can damage the hip joint and decrease functionality, inhibiting movement and increasing pain. Trauma and past damage can also result in the need to undergo this particular joint surgery.

Symptoms that go along with these conditions may include simple ones, such as experiencing pain even when you’re not moving. Popping, clicking and grinding of the hip joint can also indicate your regular range of motion may be inflicting hip problems, which isn’t normal. Finally, those who fail the one-leg test may be great candidates for this surgery. If a person cannot stand on one leg for one minute, even with the help of a table or chair for balance, they may be in need of a partial or total hip replacement.

The failure of other treatments, including anti-inflammatory measures such as medicines or injections, physical therapy or weight loss, could also result in the need for a partial or total hip replacement. Surgery may be an option if daily life is no longer tolerable due to hip pain, stiffness or mobility issues. If it’s difficult to maintain simple daily tasks such as sitting, bending over or climbing the stairs, it may be time to seek medical attention with surgery in mind.

If it’s time to undergo surgery, it’s important to research which hospital, physician and location is the right fit. A general rule of thumb for joint surgeries like those for the shoulder, knee and hip is to look for accredited hospitals with advanced orthopedic certifications, and quality reviews and accolades surrounding patient safety and health outcomes.

While the need for partial or total hip surgery can severely impact quality of life prior to the operation, with proper aftercare, patients should experience an immense improvement to the body and decreased pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to a trusted health care provider to see if total or partial hip replacement is the right choice for your overall health journey.

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