More than 650,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – and for good reasons. Second, only to the knee, the hip is the most weight-bearing joint in the human body, vulnerable to injury or, more commonly, painful degenerative joint disease (or simply “wear and tear”) as we age.
Depending on your condition, hip surgery is often the best option to enable you to have an active, pain-free life. But is it really necessary?
Here are the three most common reasons why surgery may be the best option to address your hip pain:
1. Severe Arthritis
The breakdown of cartilage in the hip joint can lead to chronic inflammation. An arthritic hip is typically stiff, painful, and unstable. Symptoms include a dull, aching pain in the groin, buttocks, or upper outer leg. If the pain is severe and conservative methods of treatment – such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, and physical therapy – are ineffective in relieving your pain, your doctor may recommend total hip replacement surgery.
2. Revision Surgery to Fix a Prior Hip Surgery
A hip replacement prosthesis (artificial joint) doesn’t last forever. Depending on a patient’s use of the joint, it can wear out after an average of 20 years. The purpose of hip revision surgery is to repair or replace a prosthesis that has become damaged over time, so the hip can continue to function normally. Other reasons that hip revision surgery may be necessary are if the connection of the joint replacement pieces to your bones becomes loose, if the ball joint becomes unstable and dislocates out of the socket, or if an infection develops in the joint.
3. Arthroscopy to make smaller repairs to the hip joint
Arthroscopy involves the insertion of a narrow tube attached to a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision. The view inside the joint is transmitted to a high-definition video monitor to help guide the surgeon in the diagnosis and repair of some types of joint damage.
Certain hip conditions can be diagnosed and treated with this minimally invasive form of surgery. These conditions include:
- Hip impingement, occurs when the femoral head (ball of the hip) pinches up against the acetabulum (cup of the hip) due to irregular bone shape. Arthroscopy can is used to reshape the bones.
- Hip labral tear, is a tear in the ring of cartilage that rims the hip socket. Arthroscopy is used to clean out the damaged labrum, repair the tear, and address any underlying causes, such as hip impingement.
- Loose cartilage fragments in the joint after an injury. Arthroscopy enables the removal of any debris from the hip joint.
- Osteophytes (bone spurs)are bumps that form on the ends of the bones and can prevent the hip joint from gliding smoothly. Arthroscopy is used to shave off the spurs, thus restoring the shape of the joint if there is hip impingement but not severe arthritis.
- Synovitis is the inflammation of the connective tissue lining the inside of the hip joint capsule. Arthroscopy is used to remove inflamed tissue and can help diagnose and treat the underlying cause.
Hip Surgery in Raleigh, Durham, Apex, and Cary, North Carolina
There’s no need to tolerate pain and limited mobility when board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brett J. Gilbert can provide compassionate care, technical expertise, and personalized care to resolve your hip issues.
Our clinic offers effective orthopedic surgical care for a wide variety of hip conditions using state-of-the-art technology and advanced treatment options that include:
- Minimally invasive total hip replacement
- MAKOplasty robotic-assisted joint replacement
- Revision of total hip replacement
- Outpatient joint replacement
For more information about these innovative and effective treatment options and how we can get you back to leading an active lifestyle, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gilbert by calling our office at (919) 788-8797 today. You can request an appointment with Dr. Gilbert using our appointment request form, or you can self-schedule your appointment here.