Hip Replacement Surgery and Nonsurgical Alternatives for Active Individuals in Lafayette, LA
Only you can decide if the time is right for hip replacement surgery, which is almost always an elective procedure. But, how can you be sure that you are making the best possible decision? Peter D. Vizzi, MD, an experienced, board-certified orthopedic surgeon who practices in Lafayette, Louisiana, can guide your decision-making, provide individualized advice, and help you find the most conservative treatment plan that may be effective for you.
Begin With an Accurate Diagnosis
As an orthopedic hip specialist, Dr. Vizzi often finds that nonsurgical therapies for hip pain are effective enough to delay or eliminate the need for total hip replacement surgery. However, an accurate diagnosis is essential to ensure that you receive prompt and appropriate treatment. Consult with Dr. Vizzi right away if you experience:
- Hip pain that intensifies during or after physical activity
- Hip stiffness that worsens after sleeping and improves with movement
- Difficulty walking, climbing stairs, or sitting down
- Difficulty getting into or out of a bathtub
- An aching sensation in your hip/groin during rainy or humid weather
- A stiffening in your hip when you sit for an extended period of time, such as when you drive to work or watch a movie
- Hip pain that disrupts your sleep
- Swelling in your hip
- A grating sensation in your hip joint
- A significant reduction in mobility
To gain an understanding of the cause of your hip pain and other symptoms, Dr. Vizzi will ask about your personal and family medical history and any previous injuries or surgeries involving your hip. He’ll also perform a thorough physical examination, which may include palpating (touching) your hip and asking you to move in certain ways, such as standing on one leg. He may also order an X-ray, which can be performed in his office, so he can better evaluate the condition of the bones and other structures in your hip joint.
Explore All Nonsurgical Alternatives to Surgery
In most cases, a hip replacement is not an urgent procedure. Therefore, once your diagnosis is confirmed, there is generally no harm in postponing your surgery until you feel certain that the time is right. In the meantime, Dr. Vizzi can work closely with you to determine which conservative treatment options can potentially provide you with the most benefit. For instance, he may suggest that you try:
- Lifestyle modifications – Dr. Vizzi can help you identify specific body positions and movements that may be contributing to your pain, then provide advice on the best course of action to protect your injured hip. By making some simple adjustments to your daily routine, you may be able to significantly reduce the strain on your painful joint. In general, you’ll want to avoid high-impact sports and other activities that cause or worsen your discomfort. It may also be helpful to avoid standing or sitting for extended periods of time and to lose excess body weight, if necessary.
- Physical therapy – Dr. Vizzi can suggest a targeted exercise program designed to strengthen the muscles that support your damaged hip. As these large muscles become stronger, they can take on some of the weight that is burdening your painful joint. If necessary, you might use a walking aid such as a cane to further reduce the stress on your hip.
- Medication – If your hip pain is caused by inflammation related to an underlying medical condition, such as osteoarthritis, bursitis, or gout, Dr. Vizzi may suggest an over-the-counter or prescription medication to help control it.
- Corticosteroid injections – Along with a numbing agent, a powerful anti-inflammatory medication such as cortisone can be injected directly into the painful area of your hip, which can potentially provide effective pain relief for up to several months.
The Right Choice for You
If you ultimately decide to proceed with a hip replacement, you should know that this common surgery has been performed successfully for decades, allowing many people to find relief from their chronic hip pain and return to the activities they enjoy. Additionally, the surgical techniques and implants used for joint replacements have improved significantly in recent years.
Work With an Experienced and Respected Surgeon
You can feel confident entrusting your hip replacement surgery to Dr. Vizzi, an orthopedic hip surgeon who is well-versed in the most recent advances in joint replacement surgery. He regularly attends medical education seminars, reviews the latest literature, and maintains his certification with the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons.
To learn more about total hip replacement surgery and conservative alternatives, contact Dr. Vizzi’s office in Lafayette, LA, to schedule an appointment.