When medications and other treatments don't keep hip pain at a manageable level, surgery to reposition or replace the hip joint may be the answer. Here are hip surgeries that may be worth pursuing.

Total joint replacement. The most common hip surgery is total hip replacement, a procedure in which the damaged knee is removed and replaced with a prosthesis of metal, ceramic and/or plastic components. The hip is the second most commonly replaced joint, after the knee. Hip replacement is an option when irreparable joint damage interferes with function and causes constant pain that is not alleviated by more conservative therapies.

Read about a recent study that detailed best hip replacement options for younger people.

Learn more about total hip replacement from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Hip Resurfacing. For people who are young and active, hip resurfacing is an alternative to total hip replacement. Unlike total hip replacement, hip resurfacing doesn't require removing the femoral head and replacing it with a ball of metal or ceramic material. Instead the damaged femoral head is reshaped and fitted with a metal covering that fits into the socket.

Read about research into hip replacement options, including hip resurfacing.

Arthroscopy. Arthoscopy is a minimally invasive surgery performed by inserting a lighted scope and narrow instruments through small incisions in the skin over the joint. Arthroscopic surgery has been used for decades to correct knee problems; more recently it has been used on the hip to correct problems, such as labral tears. The usefulness of many arthroscopic procedures is controversial.

Osteotomy. Osteotomy is a major surgery in which damaged portions of the hip are removed and the joint is reshaped or repositioned to correct a deformity and/or improve alignment and function. An osteotomy may be appropriate for a person who has arthritis in a hip joint but is too young and active to be considered for hip replacement surgery.

Learn more about surgery, preparing for surgery and recovering from surgery.

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeltal and Skin Diseases answers your questions about hip replacement surgery and surgical and nonsurgical alternatives.