The right time for Hip Joint Replacement surgery is a common concern. Many factors are important to think about: general health, fear and anxiety, time away from work, family commitments, and above all for majority is financial concerns. Most people decide the time is right when their knee or hip pain prevents them from living comfortably. In many cases, arthritis pain will prevent you from doing very simple things. Perhaps you cannot take care of your home or family, or you can no longer do your job. You must make the individual decision about the right time to have surgery.
The first step when making the decision about hip replacement is to meet with specialist surgeon to see if you are a candidate for total hip replacement surgery. Your surgeon will take medical history; perform a physical examination and X-ray or CT scan of hip. Even if the pain is significant, and the X-rays show advanced arthritis of the joint, the first line of treatment is nearly always non-operative. This includes weight loss if appropriate, an exercise regimen, medication, injections, or bracing. If the symptoms persist despite these measures, and with corroborating X-rays, then surgery should be considered to improve quality of life..
The decision to move forward with surgery is not always straight forward and usually involves a thoughtful conversation with patient, family and surgeon. The final decision rests on the patient based on the pain and disability from the arthritis influencing quality of life and daily activities. Those who decide to proceed with surgery commonly report that their symptoms keep them from participating in activities that are important to them like walking, taking stairs, working, sleeping, putting on socks and shoes, sitting for long periods of time. Surgery is the next option when non-operative treatments have exhausted and quality of life is compromised with features like-
• Pain at rest
• Difficulty in sleeping
• Walking with a limp
• Difficulty in bending joint or walking even with a stick
• Increasing joint stiffness and swelling
• Difficulty in doing daily routine activities due to severe painful joints.
• Limb length discrepancy (shortening or lengthening of affected leg)
• No relief even after taking multiple pain killers and doing exercises.
• Chronic painful joints affecting your emotional and mental well being
GOALS OF HIP REPLACEMENT SURGERY
• To provide pain relief
• To correct limb length difference
• To restore normal limb alignment
• To restore functional range of motion of hip joint