The first step when making the decision about hip replacement is to meet with your surgeon to see if you are a candidate for total hip replacement surgery. Your surgeon will take your medical history, perform a physical examination and X-ray your hip. Even if the pain is significant, and the X-rays show advanced arthritis of the joint, the first line of treatment is nearly always non-operative. This includes weight loss if appropriate, an exercise regimen, medication, injections, or bracing. If the symptoms persist despite these measures, and with corroborating X-rays, then you may consider surgery.