Hip replacements are performed most often to relieve the pain of progressively severe arthritis in the hip joint. Degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) of the hip joint is the most common type of arthritis hip replacement is chosen to treat. Osteoarthritis can occur with aging, with congenital abnormality of the hip joint, or because of prior trauma to the hip joint.
A hip replacement may be recommended to treat patients with other conditions as well, including bony fractures of the hip joint, rheumatoid arthritis, and death (aseptic necrosis) of the hip bone. Hip bone necrosis can be caused by a hip fracture, by drugs (such as alcohol or prednisone and prednisolone), through disease (such as systemic lupus erythematosus), and other conditions such as a kidney transplant.
Progressively intense chronic pain and the impairment of daily functions such as walking, climbing stairs, and even arising from a sitting position, eventually become reasons to consider a hip replacement, especially in older patients.
Because replaced hip joints can fail with time, whether and when to perform a hip arthroplasty is not an easy decision, especially for younger patients. Replacement is most often considered once pain becomes so severe that it impedes normal function despite the use of anti-inflammatory and/or pain medications.
Hip joint arthroplasty is an elective procedure, meaning it is an option selected among other alternatives. The decision to have hip replacement surgery must be made with a thorough understanding of the potential risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as the anticipated outcome, and will be considered carefully between the patient and orthopedic specialists at our facilities.