Am I wrong to want a hip replacement as soon as?

I’m 46 and I’m away on holiday. I suffer really badly with arthritis in my right hip, I feel such a hinderance to my young family and I just want to have this hip replacement privately (my auntie has offered to pay) I don’t want injections, I’m fed up of trying to exercise, I just want a permanent fix!



  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608

    In answer to your question, absolutely not but......maybe a tad unrealistic. If you only have arthritis in one joint and your aunt will pay then why not? (As long as it's UK.)

    But, if you have it in more than one joint,then a permanent fix isn't going,to happen. Most of us have to learn to live with it. Believe me, you can have arthritis and not 'be a hindrance' to your family. It's all a matter of finding different things, different ways and just finding the fun in everything. If the hip is painful what about a disability scooter? I first hired a wheelchair for our holidays when my two were about 7 and 3. The young 'un loved riding on my knee. His brother loved 'having a go' with the chair. We played beach cricket. I was stumps and keeper, sitting in my chair.

    Many things are possible. But so, apparently, is a new joint. Whatever you decide, decide to make the most of it.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,032

    I can understand that @Edgey_75

    As @stickywicket has said it may not be a permanent fix, but it does seem frustrating to me that younger people (in the prime of their working and family lives) should have to wait in pain.

    The only potential draw back to having the surgery younger is that the replacements only last so long and may 'wear out' needing revision surgery more often during our lifetimes. I hear that with hip surgery it's not so bad but knees are another story. My own daughter had surgery on her hip at 18 and a shoulder replacement at 19 so it can be done when there is no alternative.

    Also, agreeing with Mrs Wicket, if you do go ahead first of all please do make sure you have your op in the UK and if you don't mind share your story for others facing it here.

    Let us know what happens

    Toni x

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    Of course you want to get on with your life and for it to be back to some sort of normality, don’t we all. As the others have said, this may be unrealistic. Waiting for the op, recovering and getting back to full fitness may be quite some time away during which time you may find that arther has other ideas on how your life will progress. Sit and chat with your GP.

    its a grin, honest!

  • I understand wanting a permanent fix, but at 46 even if totally successful your op is unlikely to give you that, they expect hips and knees to last 15-20 years so you’d need it doing again, it’s also major surgery even if a common op. I’m 6 years older than you and have had both knees replaced and am waiting on both hips, my surgeon would only consider operating because I’d done the physio and cortisone injections first, so even going privately you may not get the op as quickly as you’d like. Good luck

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    I totally get your frustration. It seems a shame that joint replacements are generally only done on older sufferers when you need to be most active when younger, particularly with a family. I was in agony and could barely walk when I had my new hip age 61. However, as others have said, they can only replace them once after the new joint wears out, and with a life expectancy of new joints in the region of 15-20 years, this could leave you in a very difficult position in older age, and there's no guarantee you'd be suitable for even the second new joint. I know this isn't what you want to hear, and yes, steroid injections only last months (at best), not years, and physio is very very boring.

    BUT, as someone told me when I was getting desperate, if the surgeon's any good he won't need to operate. Their job is to help us manage pain, first with pain relief drugs, then steroid injections, and when all else fails, surgery. Think of the op as "extreme pain relief". That is basically why we want replacement after all, to get rid of the pain.

    But meanwhile physio exercises are REALLY important, all along the journey. My own physio says I need to plug away at it every day, for 2-3 months, so see the benefit. Most people give up after a few weeks as "it doesn't seem to be working". But the few people I know who do keep at it say they really noticed the difference and I'm trying to up my game. Toning the muscles helps support the joints that are wearing away, and also vastly aids recovery after surgery. I used to be a very fit walker, with great leg muscles, and had no idea I had arthritis in my hips at all, I just ignored the odd little moan and gripe after a hard day. Then I had a fall, landed on my backside, and all hell broke loose in my hip. The xray revealed I already needed a new one, so in my mind I'd gone from 0-100 in a few weeks, when in reality my hip had been falling to bits for years but my leg muscles were doing such a good job I had no idea. My sister had two new knees before she was 60, but being an aerobics instructor had kept her going for several years before the damage was so bad they'd run out of options.

    I get that you're venting your frustrations, but I would encourage you to look at the alternative options for as long as you can. And definitely don't be tempted by having surgery abroad where money talks much louder than clinical standards and ethics. Meanwhile, as I'm sure you already are, adapt how you do things, be kind to yourself, and ask for help. You've got arthritis - you deserve support.

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 222

    I think the expected lifespan of replacement hips is increasing partly because the materials are improving. This article, which is from an authoritative source, states: "patients and surgeons can expect a hip replacement to last 25 years in around 58% of patients".

    This article states:

    "95% of hip replacements last at least 10 years, about 75% last 15 to 20 years, and just over half last 25 years or more. To help keep your artificial hip in good shape longer, stay active but avoid high-impact activities, and stay at a healthy weight."

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,032

    You have to read this thread lots of discussion of the fores and againsts

    Take care

    Toni x

  • Linz80
    Linz80 Member Posts: 3

    I would put off having a hip replacement as the ultimate last resort. I have a very rare syndrome. Unfortunately the joints in my right leg started degenerating in my teenage years. My hip & knee were replaced in my 26 & 27.

    I was not aware that replacement surgery can irritate the bursa and cause bursitis. Since having my hip replaced I get horrendous bursitis flare ups. This has caused more problems than before having my hip replacement.

    My consultant replaced my joints in my 20s as the joints were totally worn. However, it’s so important that people know that in some cases joint replacements won’t give you the better pain free quality of life as there is always going to be risks. I have been lucky with my knee replacement thankfully. However, if I had know how bad the bursitis flares would be I would have used various mobility aids such as a wheelchair and scooter long before deciding to go ahead with the hip replacement. I am 42 now. I have been told that my titanium hip is still in good condition but there is nothing that can stop the bursitis flare ups.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,032

    I am so so sorry @Linz80 I have had bouts of bursitis myself and it's pretty awful.

    Can the bursa not be surgically removed?

    Sending you some ((()))

    Toni x

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733
    edited 26. Sep 2022, 10:09

    @Linz80 I'm sorry to hear about your bursitis problems. My hip replacement caused massive flare ups in two major tendons round the hip, which is apparently rare and have had a major effect on my recovery even 18 months post op. The medics are still working on it, but it's possible it may never resolve itself. We all brush aside the list of risks the surgeons are obliged to warn us about, as they're rare and (in our heads) "only happen to other people", but this time they got me. You just never know. 😥

  • MandyJB
    MandyJB Member Posts: 3

    I was in a similar position to yourself - I have just gone 50 have been in pain on and off (mainly on for 4 years). I was told my pain was muscle/tendon based and physio would do the trick. In April 2022 My hip was so painful I contacted Bupa. They didn’t pick up on it immediately ( I could write a book) but x rays showed I had advanced arthritis. It took approx 10 weeks from diagnosis to surgery. Surgeons do not replace joints if they don’t need replacing so if your lovely aunty is offering you the money my advice would be don’t wait any longer. Take care and I hope all goes well 😊

  • MaureenB
    MaureenB Member Posts: 29

    Its up to you how much pain you can put up with and how limited you want your life to be. I delayed having a hip replacement until I was 61, at which point it was, according to the surgeon, as bad as it could get. I was doing lots of exercise - try different things as some don't hurt eg I was fine on an exercise bike. The structure of my hips has created the ideal situation for osteo arthritis and my second hip has now been diagnosed as having severe osteo arthritis. I started on the hip replacement journey in May 2022 and have an op scheduled in November 2022 in a private hospital, funded by the NHS. Your local NHS may be buying places in private hospitals where they operate on people with no other health complications - so ask about this option, although you may have to travel out of area. It is a quicker route. My surgeon says that there is a two tier system in operation and there is a 2 year waiting list for people who need the services of an NHS hospital or who are likely to need a longer stay. Its not fair but that is the reality. As my back is also giving me problems, I would like to only have one set of pain to deal with. I was interested to read about the bursitis problem as my bursa on the same side as my new hip does give me some pain when lying on that side in bed, but nothing like what Linz80 is suffering (you have my sympathy), and this has lessened over time

  • Tracy72
    Tracy72 Member Posts: 2

    I’ve just turned 51and have Osteoarthritis in my neck, both knees and right hip. I have a hospital appointment last week about my hip and was told I have 2 choice, either another round of physio or a hip replacement. I’ve gone for physio for now, but am seriously considering getting the hip done before my right knee needs doing too. There’s a long history of really quite bad arthritis in my family, and one of my sisters left it too late to have her surgery and now struggles to get around. She has been told that due to her ill health, they won’t do surgery.

    so I’m finding this really helpful and insightful, thank you.