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When Should I Consider a Hip Replacement? [Video]

Ask the Expert: Hip Video Series

About the video: When should I consider a hip replacement?

Arthritis experts Kris Breien, M.D. and retired physician Jerome Perra, M.D. explain the most common signs and symptoms that can lead to a hip replacement.

Meet Dr. Kristoffer Breien

Dr. Breien’s approach: “I tend to be more conservative in my approach, reserving surgery as a last option. In essence, I strive to care for patients and their problems in the same manner my family and I expect to be treated when we seek medical attention.”

Dr. Breien’s education: Dr. Breien received his undergraduate degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. He went to Creighton University for medical school and his residency at Creighton-Nebraska University Health Foundation in Omaha, Nebraska.

When to seek treatment for your arthritis

Arthritis doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MNWoodbury, MN, Lakeville, MN and Eden Prairie, MN as well as additional community clinics throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Video Transcription

The symptoms and the signs of arthritis, which is what generally leads to hip replacement. Occasionally, people will have a trauma that will lead to hip replacement. Like they would fall and break something that would result in a hip replacement. But the majority of folks have arthritis. Arthritis usually comes on slowly in the hip, and most people think it’s a groin pull and it’ll just be achy when they’re trying to do things or when they change positions of their leg. And that can go on for months or even years. Then as the arthritis gets worse, i.e., the cartilage continues to wear away in that hip, they’ll start noticing stiffness. They’ll notice that they have difficulty reaching down and touching their foot. They have difficulties putting in their own shoes on, and that affected leg just will not move like the other side. That’ll limit their ability to walk distance, and then it will limit their ability to sleep. Once they start to hurt at night, it gets to the point when people aren’t sleeping and they can’t find any relief – that’s when you’re generally looking at potentially hip replacement. Typically, people who have inflamed tendons or an inflamed bursa will experience the pain on the outside of their hip, sometimes going into the thigh, sometimes up into the buttock area. People who have hip arthritis more frequently will perceive the pain deep in the groin, deep in the front of their hip. There are things you can do to avoid hip replacement at that point, or at least postpone hip replacement. Moderate weight loss, strengthening exercises of the muscles around the hip, and the use of anti-inflammatory medications can calm it down. We can do a cortisone injection into the hip joint, but we need an X-ray guidance to get it in there, because it’s a deep joint and we can’t be sure where again if we tried to just do it in the office. We don’t like to do that repetitively. We’ll often do it just to see, is this pain really coming from your hip or could it be a back problem that’s mimicking hip arthritis, because getting the right diagnosis is important. But if people get very good temporary relief after an injection, if the pain comes back, that’s now limiting their daily life – they can’t function well, climb stairs well, go out and socialize and do the things they need to do – hip replacement maybe the thing to start thinking about.