Surgery isn’t your only option when it comes to knee and hip pain. Medication and exercise are your first line of defense before considering joint replacement. If you have chronic joint pain, seeing an orthopaedic surgeon is a good next step.
[Dr. C. Lowry Barnes, Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery]
Absolutely, there are nonsurgical treatments for hip and knee pain, and those should be done prior to joint replacement.
Anti-inflammatory medications, taking Advil over the counter. Or taking Tylenol, which is not an anti-inflammatory medication, but it helps with pain. So those two medications should be tried first.
Exercise matters. If you have hip pain, you should get in a swimming pool and start getting your motion as soon as you can. If you have knee pain, you should be building your quadriceps. So, the muscle in front of your thigh is the most important stabilizer of the knee. And if that muscle is strong, it can often help knee pain and arthritic pain from the knee. So bicycling and doing leg lifts are very important.