Have you ever stopped to think about how amazing our ability to walk is? It may be something we do each and every day, but the ability to walk upright is truly incredible.
While our ability to walk is certainly dependent on several different systems within the body working together, one piece is particularly important — the hip joint. A ball-shaped joint fits perfectly within your hip socket and allows us to do everything from walk to cartwheel. And in between your hip bone and joint is a wall or “cushion” of cartilage. Over time (whether due to old age, injury, overuse, or illness) that cartilage can begin to break down.
If you suffer from any of the below symptoms, a total hip replacement may be the right choice for you.
Consistent hip or groin pain.
A little soreness after a workout is normal, but everyday pain is another story. If everyday activities, like walking up stairs or down a grocery aisle, bother your hip, this could be a sign of hip arthritis.
Is putting on socks and shoes difficult? Are you unable to bend over and tie your shoes throughout the day? If muscle stiffness (particularly stiffness on just one side of the body) is limiting your movement, you should speak with a specialist.
You can’t complete the “one leg test.”
If you had to, could you stand on your “problem leg” for one minute straight? If you can’t (even with the assistance of a wall for balance), then you’ve likely done permanent damage to your hip.
You feel the need to limp.
When hip problems begin to develop on one side, most people’s first instinct is to limp to alleviate pressure on that side. While that may seem like a simple solution, it actually exacerbates problems. Long-term limping can lead to back and neck problems, foot issues, and worsening hip pain (particularly on your “good side”).
If you’re having difficulties with a bone, muscle, tendon, nerve, or joint, the experts at Methodist Hospital are here to help. Our orthopedic specialists take an interdisciplinary team approach to care and offer dynamic surgical techniques and modern technologies when providing high-quality orthopedic services to our patients.