Are there any alternatives to a total hip replacement?
- Simple painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can help control the pain.
- Supplements to your diet may also help relieve your symptoms (check with your doctor before you take supplements).
- Using a walking stick can make walking easier, as can a small shoe-raise.
Regular moderate exercise can help to reduce stiffness. Physiotherapy may help to strengthen your muscles.
- A steroid injection into your hip joint can sometimes reduce pain and stiffness.
All these measures become less effective if your arthritis gets worse.
Benefits of hip replacement surgery
90% of patients experience a large reduction in hip pain following a total hip replacement, which allows them to return to their normal daily activities. You may or may not be able to return to active sports or heavy labour. You should follow the advice of your consultant on what level of activity you can undertake.
What does the operation involve?
The surgeon will make a cut on the side of your hip and remove the damaged ball and socket. They will insert an artificial joint made of metal, plastic, ceramic, or a combination of these materials. The implant is fixed onto the bone using acrylic cement or special coatings that bond directly to the bone.
The hip replacement operation usually takes an hour to 90 minutes. Various anaesthetic techniques are possible.