Hip Replacement Pain Groin Stiffness Arthroplasty Revision Fracture
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Quite often stiffness and slight lack of flexibility is the first sign of a hip problem. This can develop over many years and is not often noticed by the patient. This early phase may last several years. With further deterioration the stiffness starts to become noticeable and causes difficulties with the activities of daily living:

  • Putting shoes and socks on
  • Cutting toe nails
  • Getting in and out of the car
  • Walking at a reasonable pace
  • Coping with stairs
  • Going up or down inclines
  • Getting in and out of the bath

Pain starts off as a dull ache in the groin which may be intermittent or periodical. Gradually the pain can increase in duration and severity. Pain is particularly troublesome if it occurs at night, disturbing sleep and significantly impacting upon quality of life. Some patients are convinced the problem is in the knee but in fact the disease is in the hip. This distribution of pain is known as "referred pain" in that the pain from the hip is felt in the knee. With prolonged pain there is often wasting of the muscles in the buttock and the thigh. Some functional limitations that arthritis can cause include problems with:

  • Housework
  • Shopping
  • Working
  • Coping with personal hygiene
  • Physical relations
  • Driving for any length of time

It is important to confirm the diagnosis of hip arthritis before planning treatment. This can usually be accomplished by examination and a simple x-ray of the pelvis with a lateral view of the affected hip. For simple osteoarthritis the early stages can be treated with pain killers, physiotherapy and weight loss.

If the diagnosis is not clear or symptoms cause significant impairment in quality of life, then a referral for a specialist opinion is advised.

Total hip replacement is a well proven treatment for severe hip arthritis. The decision to proceed with this operation depends upon each individuals assessment of their symptoms, the risks and the benefits of surgery.

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