Chronic, worsening hip pain is a horrible thing to experience. Whether it’s waking you up in the night, stopping you from being able to participate in sports or preventing you from carrying out everyday tasks such as pottering to the shops, hip pain is difficult to ignore.
The most common reason people get hip pain is arthritis in the joint. Arthritis often develops slowly, causing incremental changes in the joint which can be easy to miss at first. As the arthritis progresses and the surfaces of the joint become increasingly worn down, the pain in your hip will increase.
As a surgeon who only treats hip problems, many of the people who come to see me here at Circle will often have tried managing their hip pain with conservative (non-surgical) treatments recommended by their GP such as painkillers, physiotherapy, gentle cycling or swimming and steroid injections. These can certainly all be helpful (usually more so in the earlier stages of hip arthritis) and I always advise people to try these before contemplating hip replacement surgery.
When I talk with people in a consultation, they often tell me that they weren’t sure at first whether to see a doctor about their hip pain or to leave it and see if it got better by itself. This is one of the challenges of hip pain; most of us will experience it at some stage in our lives, although in these cases it is often associated with an injury or an increase in our activity levels (we may spontaneously go for a long walk with friends for example).
Most people seek medical help when the pain in their hip hasn’t gone away after a few months, where it has become significantly worse or if painkillers have stopped being as effective. I always tell people that if their hip pain is bad enough to be waking them up at night, they should certainly see a doctor for help.
Where conservative treatments have failed or are not now as helpful as they once were, a hip replacement may be the best treatment option for you. In hip replacement surgery, the damaged and worn bones of the hip joint are replaced with an artificial joint. This new joint improves the mobility of the joint and stops the hip pain you’ve been suffering with. It really does make a significant difference and people tell me it was life-changing for them, finally being free of the terrible pain they had been living with for so long.
During your consultation with me, I’ll assess your hip using a combination of clinical observation and diagnostic imaging where required, such as a hip X-ray, MRI or CT. Once we have a good idea of what is causing your hip pain, we’ll talk together through the different options available to you based upon what you ideally want to get out of any treatment.
This discussion is important; as a doctor, I will certainly give you my expert opinion, but the final choice as to whether to have surgery or not is always yours (there is never any pressure put on you). I like to think of my approach as collaborative, with both of us working together to get the best result for you.
As in most areas of life experience matters. This holds true for hip replacement surgery, a very common operation with around 2.5 million replacements carried out in the UK since 2003.
As a specialist hip surgeon, I carry out a LOT of hip replacements every year (over 800 in the last 3 years alone). You can visit the National Joint Registry here to learn more about the types of surgery I have carried out over the last three years.
With the large number of these operations I have carried out, I have seen thousands of patients from all walks of life and all I appreciate that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to treating hip pain is not realistic in modern medicine. Understandably, we all want to receive the best treatment available (one that treats us as a person and not a hospital number). I believe very strongly that treatment should always be personalised, to ensure you receive the very best possible outcome from your hip replacement surgery. At Circle, this is my approach with everybody I treat.
If you have been struggling with hip pain I can tell you with certainty that good, effective help is available. With no waiting list at Circle, you won’t need to wait months on end for an appointment. Contact my private secretary today to book your consultation with me, at a time that is most convenient for you.
I will determine the cause of your hip pain and should hip replacement surgery be the best treatment option for you, we will get that booked in for you. A hip replacement could help to get you out of pain and back to normal function and activity again. I look forward to helping you.