There are many factors to consider when deciding the best treatment for your hip pain. You have options when it comes to reducing your hip pain and regaining your activity level. The decisions should be made with your doctor to ensure that you realize your desired outcome.
In order to manage your pain, your doctor may want to try treating your condition with non-surgical treatments first.
These treatments include:
- Heat or cold treatments for short-term pain relief and stiffness
- Medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, to treat osteoarthritis
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen may help temporarily relieve pain
- Lifestyle modifications such as losing weight can reduce the stress on your hip
- Rest your hip from overuse
- Follow a physical therapy program of gentle, regular exercise such as swimming, water aerobics, or cycling, to keep your hip functioning and improve its strength and range of motion
Hip surgery may be the right option for you if non-surgical pain management has not provided relief. There are different surgical approaches to discuss with your doctor. In the end, your doctor will decide which treatment option is best for you.
Partial Hip Prosthesis
A Partial Hip Prosthesis replaces part of the hip, the femoral head (ball), leaving the natural acetabulum (hip socket) intact. The most common form of partial hip replacement is called a bipolar prosthesis. A bipolar prosthesis replaces the femoral head (ball) of the joint. It is called a bipolar prosthesis because movement occurs on "two poles", or I two places: One allows movement within the prosthesis construct and the other allows movement between the prosthesis and the acetabulum. A benefit to partial hip replacement is that it preserves the natural acetabulum so it can be easily changed to a total hip replacement, which is often necessary in the coming years.
Total Hip Replacement
In a Total Hip Replacement, the acetabulum (hip socket) and femoral head (ball) are removed and replaced with artificial implants. The prostheses are fixed into position using bone cement or fixed into position by first creating a cavity that is slightly smaller than the implant so that the implant fits snug within the bone and second, during the natural healing process by which the surrounding bone grows into different components of the prosthesis.
Direct Anterior Approach- A Minimally Invasive Surgical Technique
Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery accomplishes everything that a traditional procedure does, but through a smaller incision and the direction by which the surgeon accesses your hip. A traditional hip replacement surgery incision is ten to 12 inches long. However, a minimally invasive hip replacement surgery incision is generally three to six inches long. In this type of surgery, special instruments and techniques are used to expose and move around the soft tissue of the hip joint. Rather than cutting through the back, the surgeon accesses your hip joint in the front which can limit damage to the primary support systems of the joint.
Potential benefits to minimally invasive surgery may include:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Quicker recovery
- Smaller incision
- Reduced disruption of soft tissue
Talk with your doctor about minimally invasive surgery and if you could be a candidate for direct anterior approach.*
*Not all patients are suitable candidates for direct anterior approach.