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Community Advocacy Organization

Five Symptoms That May Be Telling You It’s Time for a Hip Replacement

Physical health is a fundamental aspect of your quality of life. When you can no longer physically do the things you love — like going for a walk, swinging a golf club, carrying your grandkids, gardening, or traveling — it can negatively impact overall happiness.

It may also mean it’s time to look at options to get you back to what moves you.

Hip osteoarthritis, a significant contributor to physical limitations, arises due to age-related wear and tear. Here are five indicators of potential impairment in your quality of life due to hip arthritis.


Hip pain that doesn’t improve with conservative treatments such as rest, medication, physical therapy, or assistive devices might indicate the need for a hip replacement.

“Pain oftentimes can be located in the groin and front of the thigh, and is frequently attributed to a muscle strain,” said Daniel Mesko, DO, orthopedic surgeon who works with McLaren. “With a hip replacement, severe arthritic hip pain does not need to be accepted as simply part of the aging process.”

Limited mobility

Difficulty walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of chairs, or performing everyday activities due to hip pain and stiffness could be a sign that your hip joint is deteriorating.


If your hips are unstable when standing or walking, or you can no longer stand on one leg, it may be a symptom of an arthritic hip joint.

“Hip pain and stiffness can disrupt activities like putting on shoes and socks, getting in and out of a car, and even sleeping at night,” said Dr. Mesko. “The combination of this and end-stage arthritic changes on radiographs can indicate a hip replacement may be the answer to restore lifestyle and function.”

Swelling or stiffness

If your hip joint feels stiff or you notice swelling and a decreased range of motion, making it challenging to move your leg or bend at the hip, this might be a sign of joint damage.

Noticeable changes in the hip joint

If your hip is visibly misaligned or deformed, it could be a sign of advanced arthritis or another condition that might require a hip replacement.

“Congenital conditions can lead to early progressive arthritis in young patients,” said Jason Cochran, DO, orthopedic surgeon who works with McLaren. “Patients that have a noticeable leg length discrepancy or a rotational deformity should ask their physician if they may have a hip condition that could lead to arthritis.”

When hip pain significantly affects your ability to enjoy life, participate in activities you once enjoyed, or maintain your independence, it might be time to consider surgical hip replacement. Both Dr. Mesko and Dr. Cochran are fellowship-trained surgeons who can perform minimally invasive surgical options at McLaren with the help of state-of-the-art equipment, like the Hana® Table and the MAKO® robot.

“Patients that undergo total hip arthroplasty are able to bear weight and mobilize immediately after surgery, and because of this can expect to return to normal everyday activities quickly with our current rapid recovery protocols,” said Dr. Cochran. “Through improved techniques, we have greatly shortened the length of stay at the hospital and are now providing outpatient surgery. Many people can safely recover at home the day of surgery sleeping in their own bed that very night.”

McLaren Greater Lansing is proud to be designated as High-Performing in hip replacement surgery by U.S. News and World Report. If you are interested in learning more about the orthopedic program at McLaren, click here.

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