FAQ Category: Hip


I am considering a direct anterior approach for my hip replacement. I have heard that it is important to have an experienced surgeon for this procedure. Why is this the case and how much experience should I look for in my surgeon?

In a report out recently by Post et al., the direct anterior approach for total hip replacement has been described and reported on. These authors describe a technique which has the advantage of decreased muscle injury and the possibility of faster and less painful recovery. One issue they discuss is […]


What is the difference between an “extramedullary sliding hip screw” and an “intramedullary nail” and why would I want one over the other?  My surgeon says that the type of hip fracture that I have needs an intramedullary nail and I think this is excessive.  

An intramedullary nail is a rod that is placed in the bone shaft itself and screwed in place.  It is used in cases where the bone is not easily screwed together with plates on the outside of the bone, or a “extramedullary sliding hip screw.” Depending on the type and […]


I have a pinchy type of hip pain that comes and goes depending on if I am walking or sitting.  I am in my 50’s and hope to stay active through at least my 60’s.  Should I be looking into surgery?

Depending on the underlying cause of your hip pain, surgery may or may not be an option.  The most current evidence is not that strong regarding hip pain being alleviated by surgery, however this depends on the underlying cause of the pain.  Sometimes the pain itself can be managed through […]


I am in my 60’s and have had constant hip pain for a long time now. I’ve never really looked into fixing it until now because my pain is starting to interfere with even my walking. My surgeon says that I am probably looking at a total joint replacement. Can you tell me how I will be limited in the future if I decide to get a new hip?  

The two major predictors for eventual need of a hip replacement are increased age and a chondral injury. The good news is that there are good to excellent outcomes with pain relief. Total hip replacements are continuously evolving with technique and material choices which is further extending the life of […]


Please help me explain something to my 71-year-old grandpa. He needs a hip replacement. The doctor told him that part of his thigh bone (the neck?) is short and twisted. They will have to “fix” this during the operation. What do they do to fix this problem?

The hip joint is made up of two basic parts: the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum (hip socket). At the top of the femur is a round ball of bone called the femoral head. This ball fits into the socket and rotates in all directions to give us hip […]


I am in my early 50s now but way back when I was a teenager, I had my left hip pinned to treat slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE). Now I need a hip replacement. How hard is it to work with a hip that isn’t the right shape and that has pins in it?

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is a condition that affects the hip in teenagers most often between the ages of 12 and 16. In this condition, the growth center of the hip (the capital femoral epiphysis) actually slips backwards on the top of the femur (the thighbone). If untreated this […]


I’m having a weird thing going on with my right hip. I noticed that I used to be able to sit on the floor with both legs to one side. Now I can only do that to the left. If I try to put my legs to the right side, the right hip just won’t go any more. And I’m having pain in that hip, especially if I sit too long at my desk or watching TV. Any ideas what could be causing this kind of problem?

There are many different signs and symptoms of various hip conditions. Your description of the limited motion (called internal rotation) on one side is a potential sign of a condition known as femoroacetabular impingement or FAI. Impingement refers to some portion of the soft tissue around the hip socket getting […]


My brother had a procedure where they took bone marrow from his hip and used it to grow more cells to help repair a problem in his knee. I didn’t really get all of the details but I’m wondering how they decide where to take the donor cells from and just how it works to make more bone cells.

Stem cells are useful because they can divide and develop into any type of cell in the body (including bone or cartilage). Stem cells from the person’s own bone marrow have two major advantages: the patient does not experience cell rejection and this source of stem cells avoids the controversy […]


How can I tell if I’m developing hip arthritis? I started getting some mild, general kind of pain around the hip. Now it is moving toward my inner thigh. It seems to get worse when I’ve been sitting for awhile. But why would hip arthritis get worse with sitting? I thought rest like that would help.

You may be experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) but it’s also possible that you have a hip condition such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) refers to some portion of the soft tissue around the hip socket getting pinched or compressed. Femoroacetabular tells us the impingement is occurring where […]


We have a 23-year-old son who is already developing arthritis of the hip. He’s been diagnosed with a problem called FAI. It’s not clear but there’s some hint that his participation in sports growing up might have contributed to this problem. If that’s true, we want to warn other parents to beware of letting their kids join every sport that comes along.

As you probably know by now, femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) refers to some portion of the soft tissue around the hip socket getting pinched or compressed. Femoroacetabular tells us the impingement is occurring where the femur (thigh bone) meets the acetabulum (hip socket). There are several different types of impingement. They […]


I saw a report put out by the U.S. Census Bureau that there will be 400 million people in the United States by the year 2043. And that of the 78 million baby boomers (I am one!), half will have osteoarthritis. This makes me wonder how come half get arthritis and half don’t. Which half am I in?

Osteoarthritis is a potentially disabling condition typically affecting the large joints (e.g., hips, knees, ankles). Areas of the protective cartilage wear down to the bone and then destructive changes in the bone occur. The soft tissues around the joint (called the capsule) get thicker and stiffer. The result can be […]


I am looking for any information I can find on peroneal nerve palsy caused by a hip replacement. Mostly I want to know if I will recover and how long it will take. The surgeon told me maybe yes/maybe no to whether or not I’ll get back to normal and to expect it to take 12 to 18 months.

Your surgeon has given you the most up-to-date information available today based on the most recent histories. For example, in a recent study from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania one-third of one percent (0.32%) of their 9570 total hip patients developed a peroneal nerve palsy. The peroneal nerve […]


I knew Mom shouldn’t have had a hip replacement but she insisted (mostly because the other people in her assisted living facility have one). Now she has even more trouble walking because a nerve in her lower leg got pinched or stretched (they are not sure which). What causes this to happen?

Studies in this area agree that about half the time, it is unclear what the true cause of the problem may be. Clearly, the nerve gets pinched, pressed, cut, deprived of oxygen, or exposed to high heat and sometimes the cause is a combination of those factors. The result can […]


I am a primary care physician looking for some information on the latest arthroscopic surgical treatment of hip problems. I have referred several patients to our orthopedic surgeon for different types of problems recently. So, I would like to do some reading to catch up on the latest trends in this area without doing a literature search myself. What can you suggest?

You can search our website for the latest information and evidence-based research on any topic by typing in the specific diagnosis or disorder you are interested in. You may also find a recent in-depth review of arthroscopic hip surgery published by orthopedic surgeons from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. They […]