When hip pain and stiffness make it difficult for you to get out of bed or take a short walk, hip arthritis in Louisiana may be to blame. This degenerative condition is the leading reason why more than 350,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed each year.
Hip Arthritis in Louisiana Doesn’t Discriminate
Hip arthritis is an equal opportunity disease – it can affect anybody from active people to sedentary people. It typically occurs around middle age, when cartilage begins to erode.
With no cartilage cushion, the bone starts to rub against bone, causing pain that can radiate from your hip, buttock, leg or lower back. A previous hip injury or a family history of arthritis can also increase your risk of developing hip arthritis. When the pain impacts your ability to perform your daily routine, it’s time to seek medical care.
Treating Hip Arthritis in Louisiana
Nonsurgical treatments may be your first step if your hip arthritis in Louisiana doesn’t appear on an X-ray, or if you’ve only been experiencing painful symptoms for a short time (four weeks to three months). A steroid injection may be recommended to some patients for temporary relief.
Physical therapy may also be prescribed because it can help improve your hip’s range of motion and work out some of your joint stiffness. But neither therapy will stop arthritis from causing further hip joint deterioration. When your normal activities are limited by pain, it’s time to have a discussion about hip replacement surgery.
Two Methods of Hip Replacement Surgery
Surgeons have two options when replacing your deteriorating hip joint with an artificial one made from plastic and metal.
Nearly 80 percent of hip replacement surgeries use the traditional (also called the posterior) approach. The surgeon creates an 8- to 10-inch incision in the side of the hip, then cuts alongside the buttocks muscles to reach the back of the hip.
Post-surgery, people are warned to limit movements and certain positions to prevent the possibility of hip dislocation.
A newer anterior-based approach is used to reach the front (known as the anterior) of the hip. It can require a similar length incision but leaves the muscles around the affected hip intact.
Because it is less likely for a hip dislocation to happen following this procedure, hip precautions are unnecessary. The anterior approach helps patients get up and get moving a little sooner and there is less pain.
Recovery from Treatment of Hip Arthritis in Louisiana May Take Time
Regardless of which procedure you choose, the recovery period is about the same. Most people spend a day or two in the hospital and physical therapy helps people return to work and recreational activities anywhere from 6-12 weeks following surgery. In some cases, however, a full recovery can take up to one year.
Choosing the Right Surgeon for Your Hip Replacement
There is no significant difference in overall outcomes between the anterior and posterior approach. Typically, joint replacement surgeons tend to prefer one approach to the other so it’s important that you choose a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable, and who has experience with the procedure.
Look for an orthopedic surgeon who has done a significant number of surgeries because you will get better results. If you’re suffering from hip arthritis in Louisiana, call our office today to schedule a consultation.