Home > Elder Care Guide

Signs You May Need Hip Replacement Surgery

Photo by Chastagner Thierry on Unsplash

Between the cost, discomfort, and recovery time, surgery is not something people typically look forward to. However, it could make all the difference in relieving your pain and allowing you to return to your regular daily activities—especially when it comes to hip replacement surgery. If you think you may require a hip replacement surgery, here are some signs to look for. Oftentimes, these signs will help you to prepare for the pre-surgery questions your doctor may ask you.

Regular activities are difficult

Your hip and joint pain have gotten to the point where it’s painful to complete regular movements such as walking, standing, sitting, or bending. You can no longer participate in activities you used to enjoy due to pain.

Your hip hurts even at rest

Even when you are lying down or resting, your hips still continue to bother you as if you were running on them. Your pain and stiffness have gotten to the point where you refrain from getting out of bed or moving around.

Medications and therapy have stopped working

You have tried several medications and prescriptions, and either they haven’t helped relieve the pain or they have since stopped working. Needing to take a pain reliever (or several) everyday is not a normal or healthy practice. If even going to physical therapy isn’t helping or it’s making the pain worse, then it’s time to seriously consider getting hip replacement surgery.

You can rule out connected health issues

Sometimes hip problems are a side effect or just a piece of a larger health issue. If the following issues are not relevant or don’t apply to you, then it is a sign that your hip is the primary problem and may need replacement. This is an overall positive sign because it means the problem was easily identifiable and fixable.

  • Back or spine pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Knee pain

Things to consider before surgery

If you think it may be time to talk with your doctor about a hip replacement surgery, then acknowledge the risks and consider the following:

  • The procedure includes anesthesia to relax your muscles and put you to sleep temporarily.
  • You should expect to spend about 4-6 days in the hospital before returning home to continue recovery.
  • You will likely have a tube placed in your bladder to assist in using the restroom.
  • It can take anywhere from 6-12 months to fully recover from the surgery.
  • You’ll be expected to regularly visit the physical therapist to learn how to move with your new hip and what exercises are best to aid the healing.
  • You may need to make some adjustments in your home during recovery such as installing handrails and moving your living quarters to the first floor to avoid using stairs.

If you still think that surgery may be necessary for you, then speak with your doctor now so you can enjoy the benefits of hip replacement surgery sooner than later. Carefully consider the questions your doctor may ask you about your pain levels, stiffness, and any help or lack of help that medications and therapy may be giving you. You may find it helpful to bring in written notes about the pains you’ve been experiencing. Conversing with a doctor can be intimidating, especially when it’s about a possible surgery you are nervous for, but having your thoughts written down beforehand can help the conversation go more smoothly. Remember to be honest about the pain you are experiencing. Doctors can help you find ways to overcome your pain, and hip replacement surgery may be the best way to do that.

More to Read: