Alternatives to Hip Replacement Surgery

Before recommending a total hip replacement, your doctor may want to explore a few alternatives first. Some of these non-surgical options include medication, physical therapy, managing underlying medical conditions, and walking aids. There are also hip replacement alternatives that don't involve completely replacing the hip, such as an osteotomy or hip fusion.

An Overview of Alternatives to Hip Replacement Surgery

Before hip replacement is recommended, your doctor will usually try to treat your hip pain with conservative, or non-surgical, treatment methods first.
These total hip replacement alternatives can include:
  • Medication
  • Activity changes
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections into the hip
  • Walking aids, such as a cane or walker
  • Control of medical conditions.

Alternate Hip Replacement Surgeries

Although hip replacement is by far the most common surgery performed for hip arthritis, a few alternative hip replacement surgeries are occasionally performed in special cases.
One hip replacement surgery 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 hip replacement surgery can dramatically limit your activity, however, it is not done very often.
Another hip replacement surgery is osteotomy, which involves cutting the femur bone and realigning the joint to alter the site of wear and tear. Because a total hip replacement surgery is usually quite successful, these hip replacement surgeries are typically only performed in situations where your age or activity level demands an alternative approach.
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