Hip replacement surgery is a treatment for pain and disability in the hip. The most common condition that results in the need for hip replacement surgery is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by the loss of joint cartilage in the hip. Damage to the cartilage and bones limits movement and may cause pain. People with severe pain due to degenerative joint disease may be unable to do normal activities that involve bending at the hip, such as walking or sitting, because they are painful.
Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis that results from a hip injury, can also lead to degeneration of the hip joint.
Hip replacement may also be used as a method of treating certain hip fractures. A fracture is a traumatic event that may result from a fall. Pain from a fracture is severe and walking or even moving the leg is difficult.
If medical treatments are not satisfactory at controlling pain due to arthritis, hip replacement surgery may be an effective treatment. Some medical treatments for degenerative joint disease may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
Limiting painful activities
Assistive devices for walking (such as a cane)
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a hip replacement surgery.