Before resorting to a total hip replacement, other more conservative treatments are often considered, including exercise regimens that can infuse painkilling endorphins into your body and build muscles to help protect problem joints, weight loss programs that can help alleviate some of the stress on your joints, modification of activities to reduce that stress or pain, the prescription of anti-inflammatory medications, the use of assistive devices like canes or walkers, and cortisone injections to manage the inflammation caused by arthritis.
Even when surgery is selected as a treatment, the choices that face your surgeon are numerous. He or she must decide whether or not to use cement to adhere the components of a total hip replacement to the body, which logistic approach to the operation to take, which materials to use for the replacement hip, and whether or not to utilize computer assistance during the procedure.
The most significant decision for the surgeon may be whether to perform the operation from the front side (anterior) of the hip or from the back side (posterior). The anterior approach typically possesses advantages such as direct entry into the hip joint by only splitting between two muscles. Operating from the front also creates less tissue trauma, which means that you will likely experience a quicker return to normal functions in the days and weeks following the operation. And it leaves posterior structures intact, meaning they are less likely to dislocate after the surgery.