Tags: Arthritis | hip | replacement | need

Do I Need to Have Hip Replacement?

Monday, 03 Feb 2014 09:44 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

Question: An orthopedic doctor said I have arthritis and need a hip replacement. I have pain every day and had a cortisone shot last year (which helped). Until I do have surgery would you recommend another shot? Also: What would be the best drug to take, food to eat, and activity to do, to help alleviate the pain? I am a 56-year-old man in good health.

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Hip pain that has been relieved by a cortisone shot may indeed respond well to another shot, and certainly has little downside risk before a total hip replacement.
Normally degenerative hip problems requiring replacement occur in much older patients, and you should ask your orthopedic specialist why you require a hip replacement at such a relatively young age. Diet will have little effect, and of course repetitive weight-bearing impact activities are not usually advised for those with hip disorders.
But swimming and other non-weight-bearing exercises are going to be good for you to maintain your muscle tone, especially if you plan on hip replacement surgery in the near future. The choice of medications to use will depend upon the cause of your hip pain and any underlying arthritic or metabolic disorder that may be exacerbating your discomfort.

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