Is it time for hip replacement?????

Question

I’m 58 and in fairly good health except for my arthritis. The last 3 years it become much worse. Dr. says my Hip is bad .My pain is in my knee sometimes and more often in my groin.My Dr. says the bad hip is causing the pain. In the summerthe pain isn’t as bad. In the winter when its cold I have a bad time just getting into my car. don’t sleep good at night especially in the winter time, because the pain keep me awake and tossing around. I have a bad time putting on socks and tieing shoes. All and all I’m not in terrible pain most of the time. I just try to pace my self and not stand on my feet all day. I’ve even shorten my hours at work because after 8 hours of standing I limp out of work and that night I usually don’t plan any activities because I’m too tired and my whole leg feels like it hurts by that time. I.m female and I love to go dancing with my Husband but the last time we did the pain wasn’t too bad at the time but’ later when the dance was over the pain set in. I guess I’m wondering how much pain I should wait for before I get hip replacement. The pain is not always bad at all , then other days I have a pain day so I take tylenol and other meds to get relief. Am I ready for the surgery or should I prolong it and get back to my exercise program. I just want to feel good again or am I expecting too much.

Answer

No one can tell you how much pain you should tolerate or how much disability or diminished quality of life you need to endure. You certainly seem to be making a pretty good case to move forward with a hip replacement. Overall the surgery is very successful.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University