When to Discuss Hip Pain with Your Doctor

Mentioning hip pain to your doctor can be scary. It’s common to second-guess whether your symptoms are worth mentioning. Here are a few indicators it’s time to start a conversation.
July 8, 2019 | 3 min read
Christa S. Plew, MBA
Editor-in-Chief

It’s common for us to second-guess whether or not it’s time to talk to our doctor about something that’s bothering us. Joint pain is no different. For some, our ‘I can deal with it’ mantra overpowers our concern for the increasing pain. For others, our hip only aches when it rains so we might dismiss it. Other times, the pain is completely debilitating, leaving us no choice but to seek help.

Whether you’ve suffered from hip pain for years or just days, here are a few signs that it may be time to start a conversation with your doctor:

  • Your pain persists, gets worse, or recurs over time
  • Your hip aches during and after exercise
  • Your hip hurts when bending
  • You’re no longer as mobile as you’d like to be
  • Medication and walking aids (like a cane) aren’t delivering enough relief
  • Your hip stiffens after sitting too long
  • You feel pain in rainy weather
  • Pain prevents you from sleeping
  • You feel a decrease in your ability to move and flex your foot or ankle
  • Your hip is stiff or swollen
  • You have hip pain when walking or climbing stairs
  • You have difficulty getting in and out of chairs and bathtubs
  • You’ve had a previous injury to your hip

If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about your options. Your primary care doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon who will help you determine if you’re a candidate for hip replacement surgery and can discuss any associated risks. They may first suggest alternative, less invasive treatments depending on the condition of your joint. Hip replacement surgery is only appropriate for patients with certain types of arthritis and other various deformities and not all patients are candidates.

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