When is a hip replacement necessary?
A hip replacement is necessary when the patient and their surgeon agree that a hip replacement is the only way to relieve pain and/or return mobility to the patient. The most common reason for a hip replacement is osteoarthritis.
There are commonly agreed signs that you may need a hip replacement, including:
1. Pain in your hip, even when resting or when you are sleeping
2. Stiffness, for example when putting your socks on
3. Hip pain when walking
4. You can’t stand on the ‘bad leg’ for more than one minute
If you are experiencing pain that is interfering with your every day life, or which is stopping you doing the things you like to do or used to do regularly, then you should go to see your GP who will refer you to a hip specialist for tests including an X-Ray or CT scan, which is a sophisticated X-Ray used to model the patient’s anatomy in 3D.
Sometimes, pain is caused by other things and you may not need surgery. At other times, there are alternatives to a full hip replacement which your orthopaedic surgeon would be able to advise you on.
Hip replacements are commonly associated with older patients but in fact, younger people can and do have hip replacements. Sometimes this is because of a medical condition such as childhood dysplasia which leads to early onset arthritis, sometimes it’s because they have played a lot of sport or had an unusually physically demanding lifestyle in which additional wear and tear on their joints has occurred. In younger patients, the standard hip replacement may not be the most appropriate. If you are a keen runner for example and would like to carry on running, a custom hip replacement might be a better option. The published clinical results in patients less than 50- years old supports this notion.
We all have different body shapes and sizes, our joints are included. A custom hip is built to the patient’s exact bony measurements and therefore gives the best outcomes in terms of relieving pain, returning mobility and re- establishing full function to patients.
To find out if a custom hip is a good option for you, you need to talk to an orthoapedic surgeon who uses one of our custom hips. We have a list of them HERE