What To Do If You’re Always In Pain
Hip pain can become so severe that the condition impacts the quality of life. Most cases are due to arthritis, the gradual deterioration of cartilage and bone. However, some situations call for surgery. An advanced procedure called direct anterior hip replacement can significantly reduce pain and discomfort. Using minimally invasive techniques, hip pain sufferers can be up and walking in no time.
An anterior approach to surgery
Direct anterior hip replacement surgery aims to replace the damaged joint with artificial parts. What sets the procedure apart is the approach. First, the surgeon makes a small incision at the front of the hip. From there, the surgeon can move the muscles and tendons to access the diseased joint. After removing the cartilage and bone, the surgeon installs a prosthetic joint. These parts are metal, plastic, ceramic, or a combination of these materials.
Pros and cons of direct anterior hip replacement
Direct anterior hip replacement is minimally invasive, meaning the surgeon will cut just a few inches. In addition, the anterior approach means the surgeon does not have to cut through muscle, which happens with a posterior surgery. For patients, this means less pain and faster recovery. Despite the advantages, anterior hip replacements are more complicated than posterior procedures. That means the surgery can take longer and can only be performed by experienced surgeons.
How would you know if you need surgery?
Anyone with hip pain that’s impacting the quality of life should visit a doctor immediately. The doctor can diagnose arthritis or hip joint problems with an x-ray and physical tests. Surgery is the last resort for arthritic pain. However, there are some distinct reasons that patients can tell if surgery is necessary.
Pain during simple activities
Surgery may be necessary if there is severe pain in the hip and groin area. The pain is often due to bone-on-bone damage. Hip arthritis can cause severe pain when walking long distances or exercising. Some people even feel pain when sitting or sleeping at night. If these activities cause extreme discomfort, surgery may help reduce pain.
Are you unable to support your weight?
Some patients are unable to support body weight on the painful leg. A doctor may perform a physical test to confirm this problem. Sometimes, the condition can be so severe that the patient cannot stand on one leg for more than a few seconds. Others may find difficulty shifting weight to put on pants or socks.
Previous treatments failed
Surgery would be best if past treatments were unsuccessful. The doctor will first prescribe pain medication like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication. Along with physical therapy, most patients see relief with these treatments. Other treatment options include steroid injections and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). If these techniques fail, surgery can help.
From the front
Hip replacement can reduce pain and get patients moving again. An anterior approach has high success rates, reducing pain while sparing the muscles. If a doctor believes the patient is a candidate, the surgery can happen at an outpatient clinic. These facilities have skilled, experienced surgeons that can perform this complicated yet effective procedure.