Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

Mother has severe hip pain from arthritis that is limiting her ability to get around. Will having a total hip replacement help her?

Answer:

Hip pain is the number one reason people choose to have a total hip replacement. But patients are advised that the pain is not automatically gone after surgery. Some patients report that it still hurts but "feels better" because it's a different kind of pain. The arthritic joint pain is replaced by a sore, aching, muscular pain and stiffness. With time and by following a specific rehab program, the pain, soreness, and stiffness gradually decline. The hope is that as the painful symptoms decrease, your mother's function will improve. Usually walking distance and speed are used as the main measure of improvement. Be aware that after joint replacement many patients rate their function as much lower than it really is. This is likely due to the effect of pain. Even a small amount of pain can color how a person views his/her own function. It may take awhile before pain, perception, and function level out. Inge van den Akker-Scheek, PhD, et al. Physical Functioning Before and After Total Hip Arthroplasty: Perception and Performance. In Physical Therapy. June 2008. Vol. 88. No. 6. Pp. 712-719.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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