When hip pain or stiffness is only relatively mild, you may be able to ignore it most of the time. If your symptoms are more severe and are affecting your daily activities, you will probably be quite motivated to get it treated quickly.
Any type of treatment has two aims:
- To get you out of pain as quickly and fully as possible
- To restore function to your hip
It is important to know that even though this page is about hip surgery in Bath, and that you will be seeing a Consultant Hip Surgeon when you visit, many hip symptoms and conditions can be treated without the need for any form of surgery. Conservative (non-surgical) treatments will often be used first as these can be very effective, particularly for less extensive damage to the joint.
If you are overweight it means that your weight-bearing joints, including the knees and hips, have more load placed on them. Losing weight will reduce this load and may help to improve your hip pain.
For hip pain caused by early arthritis, muscular weakness or previous hip surgery, physiotherapy can be particularly beneficial. It is important to do the correct exercises and stretches to avoid causing more damage, and to do them at a sensible pace so that your body has time to adapt and adjust to any new demands being placed on it. Our dedicated on-site Physiotherapy team will work closely with you and your consultant to tailor a programme to safely fit your specific needs and current abilities.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to reduce pain and inflammation, if you can take them. Where your pain isn’t being suitably managed by over-the-counter medication, your consultant may recommend stronger painkillers where appropriate.
If hip pain is affecting your sleep, there are some medicines that can help with both pain relief and sleep.
A corticosteroid injection into the hip joint provides pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits within the joint. The effects of this injection will wear off over time and repeat injections often become less effective, so this isn’t normally a long-term treatment strategy. It can be very good at giving you a period of time with less pain though.
Keyhole surgery (hip arthroscopy) can be helpful when treating a range of conditions like hip impingement, labral tears and psoas tendinopathy. As well as giving your consultant a clear view of the inside of the hip, surgical repair can be carried out. For example, labral tears can often be repaired, or a bony spur on the femur carefully trimmed off. This minimally invasive surgery means smaller cuts, reduced pain and bleeding, less visible scarring and a faster recovery.
Where the hip has been more extensively damaged by osteoarthritis, these conservative treatments are not usually effective at relieving pain and stiffness. Hip replacement surgery may be the only option to successful treat the problem. This operation removes the damaged, worn out hip joint and replaces it with a new artificial one (prosthesis).
This is one of the most successful operations in medicine, restoring movement in the hip once more, free of pain or stiffness. Many people find this operation is life-changing, as they are able to return to the activities they most enjoy. A modern hip prosthesis would be expected to last for 30 – 40 years, so it is an extremely good, long-term treatment option.
Successfully managing symptoms like hip pain and stiffness depends on getting an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms. With fast access to experienced hip surgeons, you will be expertly guided about the best treatment at the right time for your symptoms and condition. And this all starts with your first consultation…