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How normal hip works

If your hip has been damaged by arthritis from any cause, common activities such as walking or getting in and out of a chair may be painful and difficult. You may even feel uncomfortable while resting. Medication may control your pain for a short while but long term use of pain killers is not likely to do any good to your stomach. You may therefore want to consider hip replacement surgery. By replacing your diseased hip joint with an artificial joint, hip replacement surgery can relieve your pain and help you get back to enjoying normal, everyday activities.

First performed in 1960, hip replacement surgery is one of the most important surgical advances of this century. Since then, improvements in joint replacement surgical techniques and technology have greatly increased the effectiveness of this surgery. Today, more than 200,000 hip replacements are performed each year in the United States.

Common Causes of Hip Pain and Loss of Hip Mobility

The most common cause of chronic hip pain and disability is arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and traumatic arthritis are the most common forms of this disease.

Osteoarthritis usually occurs after age 50. The articular cartilage covering & cushioning the bones of the hip wears away. The bones then rub against each other, causing hip pain and stiffness.

Avascular Necrosis is a common condition leading to secondary Osteoarthritis. The blood supply to the ball part of the joint (femoral head) is cut off due to various reasons and this leads to weakening of the bone and eventually arthritis. Steriod use, warranted or unwarranted, is the most common cause in India.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease in which the synovial membrane becomes inflamed, produces too much synovial fluid, and damages the articular cartilage, leading to pain and stiffness.

Traumatic Arthritis can follow a serious hip injury or fracture. A hip fracture can also cause avascular necrosis described above.

Is Hip Replacement Surgery for You ?

The decision whether to have hip replacement surgery should be a cooperative one between you, your family, & your orthopaedic surgeon. While most patients who undergo hip replacement surgery are of age 60 to 80, orthopaedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Recommendations for surgery are based on the extent of your pain, disability, and general health status, not solely on age.

You may benefit from hip replacement surgery if:

  • Hip pain limits your everyday activities such as walking, bending.
  • Hip pain continues while resting, either day or night
  • Stiffness in a hip limits your ability to move or lift your leg.
  • You have limited pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • You have harmful or unpleasant side effects from your pain relieving medications.
  • Other treatments such as physiotherapy don’t relieve hip pain.