Hip replacement?

Hi! I am new here and spending time just exploring. I've read some comments about hip replacement that make me want one more than ever (I have osteoarthritis--bone-on-bone--in my left hip), but I have some reservations. Like:

While the worst pain is in my hip, I find that my lower back will often start to ache quite badly as well. The x-ray results that detailed the condition in my hip also noted some deterioration in the spine and the pelvic area. Is it possible that I could get the hip replaced but still experience severe back pain? I've been told that the pain in my back could be from the fact that the bad hip is throwing my gait off, but I just wonder. Has anyone had experience with this, and did hip surgery help the backache as well? Or is it better anyway to have just the backache without the severe hip pain? I'd rather not go through a major operation & still be in agony!


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,016

    Morning @TLee

    Lots of people here think they have a bad back which turns out to be their hip. I would think there is real hope that your back pain might ease once you have fully recovered from your surgery, but we are all different so no-one can say for sure. Especially as you say your X-rays do indicate some deterioration in your spine and pelvic area.

    A hip as badly damaged as yours is very likely to be making you walk with an antalgic gait it makes so much sense that it will be affecting other parts of your body.

    Obviously the decision is yours - have you read any of the threads on here by our 'hippies'? I'm thinking of @RogerBill @Lilymary now @EllyB (16 days post op) @Coddfish and @LizB12 to name a few....?

    Take care


  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 222

    @TLee I was in a similar position to you before I had my left hip replaced just over a year ago. For me the bone on bone hip was the worst problem as I was unable to stand or walk for more than 15 minutes. Previously I used to enjoy regular 9 mile walks. Now, although I'm not back to quite that level, I am able to enjoy 5 mile walks. Because I'm able to walk and generally maintain a better posture my back is somewhat better but it does still cause problems if, for example, I do some DIY that requires bending for more than about half an hour or if I twist awkwardly. I'm learning to recognise the limits of what I can do before needing to take a break.

    The decision to have a hip operation is a difficult one and everyone is different but I don't regret my decision as it has improved my life considerably. If you decide to have the operation you will need to invest a significant amount of time and effort into doing the recommended exercises in order to gain the maximum benefit.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    I didn’t have back problems before my hip replacement in 2021, but the pain in my hip was so relentless and disabling it was a no brainier that I needed it replacing. The pain has gone, still building up my strength and mobility, but the way I look at is that without the surgery, the pain was only going to get worse, with surgery, it can only get better. It may be difficult for even your surgeon to foretell how it will affect your back, but at least having had your hip done they can then work out whether the back pain was part of the hip problem, or whether your back itself needs some work once you’re over the hip surgery.

  • MaureenB
    MaureenB Member Posts: 29

    Hi Tlee, I was diagnosed with L4/5 disc degeneration on the same side as my arthritic hip earlier this year. I have had symptoms from this for at least 5 years, but they have got worse as the hip has got worse and I have had sudden onset of really bad pain in my leg and foot when walking, which is all back and not hip. I have been seeing a physio on line since September (funded by my Benenden insurance) and he has prescribed a lot of exercises to strengthen the core and the glutes on the bad side. Basically a lot of Pilates, which I have been doing for years anyway. The exercises have been helping with the back pain when walking. I had my left hip replaced 2 weeks ago and I am walking around 5000 steps a day with no back pain. Hopefully the two will improve together and my NHS physio will be dealing with both. So there is potential for the two to improve together. I had a spinal injection rather than epidural and I was able to have that higher up the spine to avoid the damaged area so make sure your clinical team know this. Ironically I had my first hip replacement 5 years ago, they put my upper back out on the operating table. It really painful for a week and then I had therapy but it took around 4 months for my back to settle. As Rogerbill says, do the exercises and bend your knees when gardening etc.