MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.
Who is a candidate for total hip replacement?
Total hip replacements are performed most commonly because of progressively worsening of severe arthritis in the hip joint. The most common type of arthritis leading to total hip replacement is degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) of the hip joint. This type of arthritis is generally seen with aging, congenital abnormality of the hip joint, or prior trauma to the hip joint. Other conditions leading to total hip replacement include bony fractures of the hip joint, rheumatoid arthritis, and death (aseptic necrosis, or avascular necrosis) of the hip bone. Hip bone necrosis can be caused by fracture of the hip, drugs (such as
chronic use of prednisone and prednisolone), alcoholism, and systemic diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus).
The progressively intense chronic pain, together with impairment of daily function including walking, climbing stairs, and even arising from a sitting position, eventually become reasons to consider a total hip replacement. Because replaced hip joints can fail with time, whether and when to perform total hip replacement are not easy decisions, especially in younger patients. Replacement is generally considered after pain becomes so severe that it impedes normal function despite use of anti-inflammatory and/or pain medications. A total hip joint replacement is usually an elective procedure, which means that it is an option selected among other alternatives and can be scheduled on a routine basis. It is a decision that is made with an understanding of the potential risks and benefits. A thorough understanding of both the procedure and anticipated outcome is an important part of the decision-making process with the orthopedic surgeon.