4 signs you may need a hip replacement

Mr Wilhelm Wagner Mr Wilhelm Wagner Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital
Is a bad hip stopping you from doing everyday things? Mr Wilhelm Wagner, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital, reveals the signs you might need a new one.

There are no set rules when it comes to hip replacement. While the surgery is commonly associated with older patients, in truth it’s a life-changing procedure for anyone with a worn hip joint.

The following signs may indicate hip arthritis or be symptoms of other problems. The best way to accurately diagnose the state of your hip is to speak to a specialist and have an x-ray.

1. Hip or groin pain

Pain during exercise

Soreness during or after exercise or pain that interferes with your daily activities could be a sign of hip arthritis. The pain is usually localised between your hip and knee. If the pain is lower down towards the ankle the problem might be caused by back problems.

Some people find themselves relying on a walking stick or compensating with a limp. Others regularly take painkillers to deal with the pain. You don’t have to put up with it.

Pain at night

If hip pain makes it hard to fall asleep or you wake up because of pain caused by your movements at night – talk to someone about it. There are a number of hip or joint-related issues that could be affecting your sleep.

2. Stiffness

Difficulty putting your shoes or socks on is a common sign of stiffness in your hip, especially if one foot is more difficult than the other. If this is an ongoing problem, you should speak with a specialist.

3. Hip pain when walking

If hip or groin pain is preventing you from walking normal distances for you, then speak to a specialist.

For some, being able to walk comfortably to the postbox is sufficient. For others, not being able to complete a five-mile walk is unthinkable. It all depends on your lifestyle.

4. The one leg test

If you can’t stand on your problem leg for longer than a minute – even with the support of a door frame or table-top for balance, then you might have a problem with your hip. There are other exercises you can try at home to see if you could benefit from hip pain treatment.

Most hip problems can be resolved without a full hip replacement. There is a range of treatments available, including physiotherapy, medication and hip resurfacing that may better address your symptoms.

Interested in hip replacement?

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Last updated Monday 20 January 2020