Often pain can be controlled with medication adequately enough to provide comfort with the person's present activity level. If this is the situation, and the hip range of motion is functional, the decision to wait on surgery may be reasonable.
Alignment problems of the hip, called developmental hip dysplasia, can occur. A femoral osteotomy may be indicated if the hip weightbearing area can be broadened for a better fit. This consists of cutting the femur in order to realign the hip. However, recovery following femoral osteotomy is likely to be longer than with joint replacement.
Arthrodesis relieves pain by fusing the head of the femur head to the acetabulum. It has fewer limitations than a hip joint replacement. This procedure can be very effective if the individual's back is mobile and without symptoms because much of the movement lost from the hip joint is demanded from the back. The procedure generally requires surgical fixation with a plate and screws and occasionally use of a cast is needed while healing continues. An arthrodesis can be converted to a total hip replacement at a later date if appropriate.