I have had hip pain on right side for the last four years. My Rheumy ordered a bone scan back in 2009 that showed OA in both wrists but nothing in either hip. I just went back to 3rd Ortho doctor and after he x-rayed the affected hip told me I had two options: 1) Physical Therapy 2) Total Hip Replacement. I had no idea it would be something so serious. I am a 43 yr old mother of 3 boys and am very anxious over my options. The Ortho told my husband and I to go home and do some research but I am left with more questions than answers. I would sincerely appreciate any advice or thoughts.
Seeing as this is fairly new to you, I'd opt for the PT. You should always do the least invasive treatment until it no longer works and then do surgery.....once replaced, you are locked into repeated surgeries for life.
Implants do not last and hips last the shortest of all the implants and so they often get replaced in a matter of years. Makes me wonder why this doc is pushing hip replacement so fast....I'd get at least 2 other ortho opinions on your hip before doing anything that drastic.
OA can hit fast and bad but only you know if you just can't take the pain anymore or if you just can't take another step on that hip. If it's that bad, then you consider surgery but you have to be really ready as it will change your life forever.
I'd recommend you see a rheumatologist(arthritis specialist) and look into treatment. They medically manage arthritis with meds and PT and injections and all sorts of things that can be done to make you very comfortable until surgery is the only option left. And then they can tell you who is the best surgeon in your area. That is what I did with my knees. Had both replaced at 47.....should have done it at least 5 years earlier but I held out as long as I possibly could and I'm glad I did. I'm now 60 and the implants are looking as good as the day they went in. My rheumy took good care of me and when he knew it was time, he didn't hesitate to tell me...time for surgery. And he got me into the best ortho in our area. It really is worth it to see one and get their take on what is being offered to you....if they think surgery is best, they will tell you and if medical management is worth doing, they'll tell you that too.
Any questions I'm around. We also have an entire board on Knee and Hip Problems and they can give you more help there too.
The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post: Weezi (05-08-2012)
I am 56 and had a total hip replacement one and a half years ago. The surgery and outcome have changed my life for the better.
I am so happy with my new hip and am mobile once again. The newer hips do last for many many years.. mine is a Stryker with a titanium stem and my surgeon told me it should last me the rest of my life if I look after myself. I am not overweight, so I am confident it will last.
I honestly have days were I don't even give my hip a thought, it's just part of me now.
I chose the surgery as my GP totally missed the hip arthritis and by the time they figured it out I was bone and bone and nothing other than a new hip would help.
Would I do this for the left side if it goes.. Yes, in a heartbeat.
Good luck with your decision and do lots of research. There are lots of goods sites out there.
The Following User Says Thank You to Thomasinaa For This Useful Post: Weezi (05-08-2012)
Thanks to both of you for your quick responses and sharing your experiences! We saw the x-rays and I have to say that they didn't look to good. I was just so shocked that he jumped to the THR so quickly. At least he did suggest PT as the first option but I took the 2nd one, for surgery, as I would have to have it sooner or later. He told me it would be better than being on meds for years. I would be QUITE pleased to be off meds and just feel ok or normal. My husband is in complete denial and said we definitely need 2nd and 3rd opinions (I agree) and that we would exhaust all other options before resorting to surgery. That sounds like a great idea but I am the one dealing with the pain and limitations. The ortho did say the implants are much better now and that I should get 20 to 25 years out of it? He also said that injections don't do much good in the hip. On the other hand, I haven't been to PT in 3 years because they wanted to find out if I may have arthritis in the hip before they went any further. Unfortunately, because the bone scan didn't show any arthritis back then no one thought x-rays were necessary, until now. Is there anything I should be doing in the meantime other than PT? I do still have some good days.
My father had both hips replaced 10 years ago, when he was 50. He's had a great outcome. He dealt with arthritis for almost 10 years before that. He took anti-inflammatories and various supplements, he swam in the pool. It may have slowed down the arthritis, but it didn't stop it. He's definitely glad he had it done before the arthritis really disabled him, he's also glad he waited until it was clearly necessary.
Definitely, get another opinion. Because you are relatively young, you do want to make sure that other reasonable options are exhausted before you go through with the joint replacement, so it would probably make sense to give PT one more try. If going to PT buys you even one year of feeling OK without the surgery, it's a good thing. But if the PT is useless, then you can schedule the surgery with confidence, knowing you've tried everything else.
Between now and then, just try to keep your legs as strong as possible.
I had to wait for 10 months to have my surgery as I'm in Canada and during that wait I did PT exercises, walked with a walking stick and a walker or cane for shopping and tried to stay as mobile as possible. It was a long wait and my hip did get worse during this time.
Yes, you are the one with the limitations and it is so wearing on a person's daily energy levels. I too was in shock when told I needed a hip, but when I made the decision and moved forward, life has improved tremendously.