Discussions that mention arthrotec

Knee & Hip Problems board

Hi all, I have been reading your posts and it has been very helpful.
I am a 54 year old female. About 3 months ago, I was diagnosed with mild to moderate OA in both hips, the right one being worse. My mother had her hips replaced when she was in her early sixties, so I've always thought that this might be in the cards for me as well.
I am never in excruciating pain, but my range of motion is limited and it is painful to get into and out of a car, go up stairs, buckle shoes, etc. I walk slowly now. I cannot throw my leg over a bicycle that has a bar on top. When I try to turn over in bed at night, I am awakened by the discomfort.
The orthopedist I consulted with said that "when I am ready" he would be willing to do a bilateral THR on me, or just the right hip. It is up to me - when I am ready.
After 3 months of taking glucosamine and chondroitin, having physical therapy for the hips, and feeling increasingly like an elderly person, I began taking arthrotec, a non-steroid anti inflammatory that has something in it that helps prevent stomach ulcers. It is like a miracle drug. Though my range of motion is still limited, I am feeling very little pain. It is like I have been given my life back.
I have read a lot of horror stories of people having no warning symptoms suffering fatal bleeding ulcers from these medications.
My question to all of you is this - is it better to live with limited motion using NSAIDS for as many years as you can and have hip replacement only when the drugs don't work any more? Or is it not a good idea to be on medication on a long term basis? Is it better to just get the hip replacements and be done with it?
I am very confused, and would welcome some advice. Thanks.