Do you need a hip replacement?
If you’re struggling with persistent hip pain, you may be wondering if a hip replacement is right for you. Mr. Matthew Burwell, an expert hip surgeon at Circle Bath Hospital, explains what you need to know about your treatment options.
The hip is a ball and socket joint. Covered by soft tissue, muscle, and cartilage, it is a deep and stable joint, resilient against injury. The most likely cause of hip pain is arthritis in the joint. While knee and shoulder injuries are fairly common, it is less common to see hip injuries.
Hip pain can often settle down by itself. In my experience, I have found that roughly 25% of cases settle down within three months and 35% within a year. However, some people will continue to experience persistent hip pain. Over time this can significantly reduce their ability to carry out everyday tasks, such as shopping or moving around the house, particularly walking upstairs.
I have found that swimming, hydrotherapy, and cycling are good ways to help relieve hip pain in some patients, as well as physiotherapy if they haven’t already tried this. Many people decide to see a specialist when their hip pain hasn’t gone away after a few months, or if it becomes significantly worse. If your hip pain is regularly waking you up at night or significantly impacting your quality of life, you should certainly seek medical advice.
Nobody knows your hip pain better than you. When you book a consultation, we will talk with you about your hip pain and the impact it is having on your life. We will examine your hip and assess how it is affecting your mobility. If required, we can quickly and easily arrange an X-ray or MRI scan for you at Circle Bath.
If the degree of pain is affecting your quality of life, and you’ve tried other conservative treatments, we may explore surgical options together.
Before considering surgery, it is important to be aware that any hip replacement will wear over time and might need replacing, so the timing of surgery for each patient is very important.
Should surgery be deemed appropriate, you can be confident that a hip replacement is, in most cases, a very safe procedure. With less post-operative pain than most patients expect, and a reasonably short recovery period, the procedure is life-changing. It can restore the freedom to return to recreational walking and exercise, including a round of golf or game of tennis, all pain-free.