Hip Replacement Information: Treatment Options

What are some non-surgical treatments for hip pain?

The cause and severity of hip pain will determine how doctors treat it. Patients, caregivers and surgeons work closely to develop a treatment plan, which may include a range of non-surgical options, given alone or in combination, including:

  • Rest—reducing or avoiding activities that may irritate the hip joint allows inflammation to subside.
  • Application of ice and heat—to alternately reduce swelling, relax and loosen tissues, and stimulate blood flow to the area.
  • Stretching—stretching joint-area muscles and tendons can help relieve some symptoms of hip pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication—taken as prescribed, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (also called NSAIDs) can help reduce hip joint pain and swelling. The most common NSAIDs are ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Injections—sometimes anti-inflammatory medicines called corticosteroids are injected directly into the hip joint to control pain and inflammation. A lubricating, non-steroid injection may also be given to reduce pain and irritation.
  • Supportive Aids—if walking becomes too painful, or if maintaining balance becomes an issue, doctors may recommend a cane or walker to help maintain stability and reduce the risk of falling.
  • Exercise and physical therapy—because can inactivity can actually worsen some hip conditions, therapeutic exercises such as strength, flexibility and balance training are often prescribed to treat hip pain.

What is a total hip replacement?

A total hip replacement, also called hip arthroplasty, is a procedure in which a surgeon removes damaged joint surfaces on the upper thigh bone and hip socket and replaces them with an artificial implant or prosthesis.  

Total hip arthroplasty is the second most common joint replacement procedure, after knee replacements. The procedure usually takes a couple of hours, and is followed by weeks or months of carefully monitored recovery and rehabilitation.