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HIP ARTHRITIS: When is Hip Replacement Surgery An Option?

dr andrew dutton when is hip replacement surgery an option
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Hip arthritis is a prevalent condition that affects a significant portion of the population, particularly the elderly. Understanding the nuances of this disease and its treatment options, including when hip replacement surgery becomes a viable choice, is essential for those experiencing symptoms and seeking relief.

In Singapore, the prevalence of arthritis varies with age, but it’s estimated that about 24% of Singaporeans aged 18 to 50 suffer from chronic joint pains, including conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, the overall burden of disease from arthritis has been significant, contributing to disability and affecting the quality of life for many individuals, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Hip Arthritis Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Hip arthritis can result from various factors, including age-related wear and tear, injuries, and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Genetics and lifestyle choices, such as obesity and lack of exercise, also play roles in the development and exacerbation of hip arthritis. Arthritis of the hip is characterised by inflammation of the hip joint, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. There are several types of hip arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common. Osteoarthritis results from wear and tear of the cartilage, which cushions the joints. It typically occurs in individuals over 50 years old. Symptoms of hip arthritis include:
  • Persistent or recurrent pain in the hip or groin area
  • Stiffness in the hip joint, especially after periods of rest or inactivity
  • Reduced range of motion and difficulty performing everyday activities like bending or walking
  • A grating or grinding sensation in the hip joint
The management of hip arthritis is strategically aimed at minimising symptoms and enhancing joint functionality. The treatment regimen is multifaceted and includes:
  1. Pain Management. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation in the hip joint.
  2. Physical Therapy. Not just about exercise, physical therapy entails strengthening the muscles surrounding the hip joint, which helps stabilise and support the joint.
  3. Lifestyle Modifications. Weight management is often recommended, as well as incorporating low-impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling, into one’s routine.
  4. Surgical Interventions. In advanced cases of hip arthritis where conservative treatments have not provided adequate relief, surgical options like hip replacement surgery may be considered.

What Is Autologous Protein Solution (APS)

Autologous Protein Solution (APS) is a non-surgical treatment available in Singapore for osteoarthritis in joints such as the hip. This treatment, typically for patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis, involves processing the patient’s blood to concentrate white blood cells, platelets, and plasma proteins for injection into the affected joint.

APS is often considered when traditional treatments like physical therapy, pain medication, or corticosteroid injections have not provided adequate relief. The effectiveness and safety of APS are currently under clinical investigation. While some studies indicate its potential to reduce pain and improve joint function, further research is necessary to ascertain its long-term efficacy fully.

Do note that this treatment is not for everyone. Before deciding on this therapy, a comprehensive medical evaluation and discussion of the risks and benefits with a healthcare provider are crucial.

What is Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery, also known as hip arthroplasty, offers hope for those suffering from hip arthritis. This procedure involves replacing the diseased or damaged hip joint with an artificial one, which can significantly improve mobility and alleviate pain.

When other treatments have failed to provide relief, hip replacement surgery can be a life-changing solution. The artificial joints used in these surgeries are designed to mimic the natural motion of the hip, allowing for a return to normal activities post-recovery.

Your hip joint is a ball and socket joint that sits right above your thigh bone. During a hip replacement surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will replace the damaged ball and socket with parts made of metal and plastic materials.

A/Professor Andrew Dutton - Types of Hip Replacement Surgery - Illustration

Do note that hip replacement surgery is often not a one-off deal. Depending on the extent of the hip injury and other indications, a patient can undergo total hip replacement, partial hip replacement surgery, or hip resurfacing, which only a doctor can diagnose.

Signs That You May Need Hip Surgery

To help assess if hip replacement surgery is for you, we’ve listed some instances that would likely require you to consider professional care. Remember that the information we provide, however factual and vetted by a doctor, should never replace a medical consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon. However, the situations and instances mentioned below should tell you when you need medical help.

Determining when to opt for hip replacement surgery involves several considerations. Indications for surgery generally include:
  • Persistent pain that interferes with daily activities despite medication and other treatments
  • Severe hip pain that persists even while resting, either day or night
  • Significant stiffness in the hip that impairs the ability to move or lift the leg
  • Inadequate relief from pain, stiffness, and mobility issues through physical therapy, injections, or other conservative treatments

Hip Arthritis Treatment in Singapore

Hip arthritis can significantly impact your quality of life. However, understanding the disease, its symptoms, and treatment options, including hip replacement surgery, can help guide you towards practical solutions. It’s important to remember that this blog, while informative, should never replace a medical consultation with a skilled orthopaedic surgeon.

When considering treatment for hip arthritis, consulting with a medical professional specialising in orthopaedic surgery is a must. An experienced surgeon can thoroughly evaluate your condition and recommend the best treatment options based on your individual needs, providing you with the reassurance and confidence you need to make the right decision.

Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton is an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in knee, hip, shoulder, and other joint problems. With a medical practice dating back to 1996, Dr Dutton completed his subspecialty in hip and knee surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School before opening his clinic in Singapore.

Please book a consultation with A/Professor Andrew Dutton or fill out the form below. You may also call us at (+65) 6836 8000, and we would be happy to answer your questions.

A/Professor Andrew Quoc Dutton Orthopaedic & Sports Clinic Insurance

The A/Professor Andrew Quoc Dutton Orthopaedic & Sports Clinic offers minimally invasive and surgical treatments for sports-related injuries and orthopaedic conditions. To aid in the expenses that you may incur, we accept a number of corporate and international insurance. If you have any of the insurance plans below, please let us know when you book an appointment with us. If you need further assistance, you may drop us an e-mail at or call us at (+65) 6836 8000.
  • AIA Health Insurance
  • Alliance Healthcare
  • AXA International Exclusive (IE)/ IE Plus
  • Cigna International
  • Fullerton Health
  • Great Eastern Life/ Live Great
  • Integrated Health Plans (IHP)
  • MHC Medical Network
  • NTUC Income
  • Parkway Shenton Insurance/ iXchange
  • Raffles Health Insurance
  • Singlife with Aviva
  • Adept

Get the quality orthopaedic healthcare you deserve. Get in touch with our team today!

About A/Professor Andrew Quoc Dutton

A/Professor Dutton, also known as, has been in clinical practice since 1996 after graduating from Marist College, Canberra and the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. A/Professor Dutton has worked at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, and the St. George Hospital, Sydney, before completing his orthopaedic surgery training in Singapore. He is currently an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

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