Alternatives to Hip Replacement

hip pain specialist los angelesAlternative conservative methods for a degenerative hip condition are typically the first recommended treatment options. Surgery is an invasive procedure and an important decision that you should make only when other alternatives treatments fail. Most surgeons, including Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel C. Allison, will use alternative treatments and therapeutic options to relieve your pain and improve hip joint function. However, if pain persists and mobility remains impaired then a hip replacement may be the best option to restore your quality of life.

One of the most important things to consider when selecting a doctor is trust. If you’re experiencing hip pain and concerned that you might require surgery, you trust your doctor to recommend what is the most effective and necessary treatment for you. Dr. Allison is a highly regarded and esteemed orthopedic oncologist who understands that receiving a patient’s trust is priceless. His is exceptionally qualified in treating complex orthopedic conditions and degenerative joints including the hip. Dr. Allison provides exceptional care both with his compassion and surgical talent.

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Is Non-Surgical Treatment Right for You?

A key factor in whether or not you need hip replacement is based on what is detected in an x-ray. Doctors will only recommend hip replacement if the x-ray indicates joint damage. If that is not the case, then most likely alternative hip treatment is sufficient.

Medical conditions which typically are responsible for hip pain and mobility problems include:

  • Femoro-Acetabular Impingement (FAI)
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Loose bodies
  • Cartilage damage

Pain and mobility limitations are the main problems associated with these conditions. Alternative hip treatments are directed towards stopping the symptoms of pain from the degenerative or impinged joints and restoring function, not replacement.

A diagnosis is obtained initially following a discussion of your medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests, such as x-rays.

Then there are some medical conditions which preclude a patient from qualifying for hip replacement surgery. People with severe muscle weakness or Parkinson’s Disease are more likely to damage or dislodge an artificial hip and for that reason, are not good candidates for this joint replacement. Individuals who are in poor health or susceptible to infection are also not the best candidates for joint replacement.

Conservative Alternative Treatment First

Joint replacement is always a procedure of last resort. All alternative method should be attempted before considering surgery. Conservative alternative treatments include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Medication –  anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID)
  • Activity adjustment (decrease high impact activity)

hip joint specialist los angelesPhysical therapy which helps mobility and flexibility can be supplemented by an exercise program to strengthen the muscles around the hip joint. If helpful, walking aids can be used to relieve some of the stress and weight from painful hips.

Minimally invasive corrective surgery is an option used if physical therapy and medication are inadequate. An osteotomy is a corrective procedure which repositions the ball and socket joint. Damaged bone and tissue is removed so the hip can be restored back to its normal and optimum position. This method relieves pain and by adjusting the hip back into the correct position, weight is once again evenly balanced.

Arthroscopy is another effective minimally invasive treatment which Dr. Allison recommends in cases where hip pain is caused by extensive cartilage and soft tissue damage. This procedure only requires a few minor incisions to access the ball and socket joint and special instruments to remove debris from around the hip.

If these conservative measures fail, and the pain and movement restrictions interfere with work and daily living, then joint replacement could be the best solution.

When Is Surgery Recommended?

If persistent pain and disability interfere with daily activities and mobility then hip replacement may be the only option.

Joint replacement is recommended in cases involving certain medical conditions such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis – chronic inflammatory disease
  • Avascular necrosis – bone loss due to poor blood supply
  • Bone tumors – primary or metastatic
  • Injury – fractured hip

Surgery restores functionality and mobility with patients resuming the activities of daily living and improving their quality of life.

Read more about alternatives to hip replacement from NIMAS.

Contact a Hip Joint Specialist

Dr. Daniel C. Allison is a Los Angeles board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a specialized knowledge of musculoskeletal structures and limb preservation. He is renowned for providing quality medical care in the treatment of complex orthopedic conditions including degenerative hip conditions. Call today to schedule a personal consultation at 310.683.4586.

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Next, read about pediatric hip replacement.

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