The stiffness in your groin has become painful, making it hard to walk or get up from a chair, and even waking you up at night. Neither rest nor medication help.
You may need a new hip.
If you do, then you’ll be among more than 300,000 people who receive total hip replacements each year in the United States.
Why Has My Hip Stopped Working?
“The hip is one of the body's largest joints. Like other weight-bearing joints, it sustains plenty of 'wear and tear' that commonly lead to arthritis. In fact, arthritis is the major cause of chronic hip pain and disability, and the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis,” said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Corey Burak.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage cushioning the bones of your hip wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other, and making movement very painful.
Hip Replacement Surgery is Safe
Hip replacement surgery is one of the safest and most successful operations in all of medicine and can return you to your everyday activities.
Advancements in surgical techniques, including the minimally-invasive procedure known as Anterior Hip Replacement, have increased the effectiveness of total hip replacement surgery. Commonly called ‘muscle-sparing surgery,’ anterior hip replacement involves only a small incision in front of the hip, as opposed to an incision on the side or back of the hip. Because it does not entail cutting any muscles, it leads to fewer post-operative complications than the traditional posterior approach. “There’s less post-op pain, which translates to a faster recovery,” said Dr. Burak, a recognized pioneer in anterior hip replacement who has performed more than 3,500 such procedures.
By preserving the natural anatomy and stability of the hip, the anterior approach to hip replacement allows you to:
• Bypass post-operative precautions, like using elevated toilet seats or “grabbers” for putting on shoes and socks
• Drive as soon as you’re comfortable
• Sleep in whatever position you prefer
Recovery Still Takes Time
Dr. Burak cautions patients to wait about six weeks before returning to sporting or any vigorous activities following an anterior hip replacement. “It’s still surgery and you have to let it heal.”
He also notes that stiffness is part of the healing process, which you can ease by not sitting for extended periods of time, as well as with physical therapy, walking and other gentles forms of movement.
Do I Need a Hip Replacement?
If your hip pain is interfering with daily activities or quality of life, and if modifying these activities, taking medications or using walking supports no longer helps, then you may consider hip replacement surgery.
You might be a candidate for hip replacement surgery if you're experiencing hip pain that:
• Persists, despite pain medication
• Worsens with walking, even with a cane or walker
• Disrupts your sleep
• Affects your ability to go up or down stairs
• Makes it difficult to rise from a seated position
To find out if you’re a candidate for a new hip, call 914-996-6777 or visit our website at phelpshopsital.org/hip today, or join us and hear Dr. Burak discuss his approach at our March 28 seminar in the Phelps Auditorium. Click here to reserve your spot – Orthopedics Seminar.