Before hip replacement is recommended, usually your doctor will try to treat your hip pain with conservative, or nonsurgical treatment.
Conservative treatment includes:
Steroid injections into the hip
Walking aids, such as a cane or walker
Control of medical conditions
Although hip replacement is by far the most common surgery performed for hip arthritis, a few alternative procedures are occasionally performed for special cases.
One procedure is fusion of the hip. Because the pain is caused by bone moving on bone, the joint can be fused to remove all motion and thus remove pain. Because this procedure can dramatically limit your activity, it is not done very frequently.
Another procedure is osteotomy, which involves cutting the femur bone and realigning the joint to alter the site of the wear and tear. Because the results of a total hip replacement are so successful, these procedures are only performed in situations where your age or activity level demands an alternative approach.
If you do have questions about any of these, you should discuss the different alternative methods to surgery with your doctor and decide which one, if any, is appropriate for you.