Are you experiencing a lot of groin, thigh or knee pain, stiffness, limping and general slowing up? This could mean you have severe osteoarthritis of the hip. I asked Stuart Edwards, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who has been practising in Co Kilkenny’s Aut Even hospital for the past six years, how to assess if your condition is serious enough to warrant a hip replacement operation.

“The main indicator is pain,” he says. “Patients can get sounds like grinding or clicking and stiffness, but pain is the strongest indicator for surgery. Everyone feels pain differently, however, and it’s often about marrying the X-ray appearance with reported levels of pain, but I usually ask patients these five telling questions: