More than 50,500 hip replacements took place across England and Wales last year. It is a major, yet effective and common operation and over time becomes the only way to eradicate pain and improve quality of life.
How do you know when you need a hip replacement? Nurul Ahad, an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Clinical Lead at the North East London NHS Treatment Centre says there are 10 not to be ignored signs to look out for and to discuss with your GP:
- Persistent or recurring pain in your hip over a period of time, or pain which may also flare up in rainy weather or changes in temperature
- Aching in your hip during and after exercise, with progressively limited hip motion or degree of bend in the joint
- Increasing immobility such as difficulty getting in and out of chairs, walking or climbing stairs
- A ‘grating’ feeling in the hip joint
- Stiffness in the hip joint when you get out of bed
- Continual pain even with medication and using a cane, and pain that keeps you awake at night
- Stiffening up of the joint after sitting for a period of time, such as driving or at the cinema
- Increasing pain, discomfort and immobility from a previous hip injury (such as a fractured pelvis)
- Related pain elsewhere, such as in the knees or groin
- An inability to stand on one leg
If you have experienced any of these symptoms and are worried, you should discuss them with your GP. Unless your symptoms are very severe and debilitating, your GP is likely to first recommend pain relief or physiotherapy before suggesting an operation, but if and when they agree that you need a hip replacement you can ask to be referred to an NHS treatment centre or hospital.