4 signs you may need a hip replacement

Mr Wilhelm Wagner Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital More by this author
Wednesday 10 February 2016
Is a bad hip getting in the way of the things you love? Here are four signs it may be time for 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.

Hip or groin pain

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.

Stiffness

Difficulty putting your shoes or socks 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.

Coming up short

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.

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 badly damaged hip.

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

Interested in hip replacement?

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