Visiting your GP
If you are experiencing persistent pain in your hip or are
finding it difficult to do normal things because of stiffness or
loss of mobility, your GP is probably the first person you will
GP is likely to ask about what pain you are experiencing at
different times of the day, how your mobility is being affected and
any other symptoms you have. They may already know that you have a
condition such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis which
could affect your hip.
If you have not seen your doctor about the problem before, they
may carry out a physical examination, and order X rays and blood
tests to diagnose the underlying problem. Many doctors use a
scoring system to give them information about how badly your hip
problems are affecting you. This usually involves a series of
questions about the severity of the pain you are experiencing and
how it affects everyday tasks, such as putting on socks and getting
in and out of a car.
Your GP may then recommend an option to you. This might be
trying a period of over-the-counter medications such as non-steroid
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to see if these help. Another
option would be an assessment by a consultant surgeon to talk about
replacement operation. In some areas, patients have to meet
particular criteria before a hip replacement is considered and may
be asked to lose weight or to try other treatments first.
You can ask to be referred to a surgeon privately. This will
mean you are seen at a time to suit you and, if the consultant
feels you need a hip replacement, you can agree on the best time
for it to be carried out.