Signs you may need a Hip Replacement

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From the first experimental hip replacement by Gluck in 1891 to the first total hip replacement by Professor John Charnley in 1958, hip surgery has become one of the most common orthopaedic procedures globally and has given a new lease of life to thousands of recipients worldwide each year.

But how do you know if you or a loved one may need hip replacement surgery? Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for.


Hip pain 

It may seem obvious, but the most important and debilitating indication that you may require hip replacement surgery is pain: pain around the hip, groin or even radiating down to the knee. No two hip pains are the same. Your hip pain may be made worse by exercise or by being at rest. It may be worse in the morning or in the evening. It may be calmed down with simple pain killers or strong prescribed pain relief may have no effect.



Reduced flexibility and movement in your hip joint will turn otherwise simple tasks into a chore. Getting up and down from chairs may be difficult and more complex manoeuvres such as getting into and out of car seats may become prohibitive.

Reduced mobility and quality of life

Taken together, hip pain and stiffness can amount to reduced mobility and consequently have a detrimental effect on your quality of life. Problems with your hip may make it difficult to function at your usual level: your ability to sleep, to enjoy your hobbies, family and socialising as well as your ability to carry out your normal daily activities. Your mood may even be affected.


What causes these hip pain symptoms?

There are several different causes for hip pain. The most common is hip joint damage due to osteoarthritis, also known as 'wear and tear'. You don't have to be elderly for this to happen - a recent report by NBC news draws attention to the fact that people in their forties are opting for total hip replacement to treat chronic hip pain.

Other causes of hip joint damage include fracture, rheumatoid arthritis and disorders of bone growth.


What does hip replacement surgery involve?

Hip replacement surgery involves the surgeon removing the damaged rounded head of the femur bone as well as the socket surface against which the head usually rests. The head of the femur is replaced by a prosthetic ball, the surface of the socket by a choice of materials including metal, ceramic or polyethylene. Surgery usually takes around an hour and a half and is performed under anaesthesia or with an epidural.


What are the benefits of hip replacement surgery?

The point of hip replacement surgery is to reduce hip pain and to improve your mobility, with the aim of restoring your quality of life. Most people will experience these benefits, especially if they commit to a rehabilitation programme. Hip joint replacements usually last around 15 years, which makes the time and money invested in hip replacement surgery well worth it.


About Ramsay Health Care

At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment or for your hip replacement surgery. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Private Patient Pledge offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.

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