The severity of hip disease and the outcome of a hip replacement can be measured. To obtain a complete picture of an individuals condition we need to know how their life is affected, how their hip is functioning and the degree to which the joint is damaged. This information can be obtained by asking questions about activities of daily living, by examining the individual and from special investigations, such as X-Rays.
Over the years, surgeons and physicians have devised questionnaires which can be used to assess the degree to which an individuals lifestyle is compromised by their hip condition. Many questionnaire now exist and each has particular merits and shortcomings. In 1996, surgeons in Oxford, England introduced the Oxford Hip questionnaire and have subsequently published a number of papers which demonstrate that their questionnaire proves consistent and meaningful data. The Oxford questionnaire has been adopted fairly widely and is has been used in our unit since 1998.
The Oxford Hip questionnaire is based on twelve questions about activities of daily living. The person answering the questionnaire is given five options to answer each question. The first option would be appropriate for someone whose hip is trouble free and the induividual would score 4 points if they chose this answer. The fifth option would be appropriate if the individual's symptoms and disabilty was extremely severe. Someone choosing this option would score 0 points for that question. The intermediate options score 3, 2 or 1 points as the answers reflect increasing disability. The Oxford hip score is calculated by combining individual scores from each of the twelve questions. Someone who has a trouble free hip should score a total of 48 points and someone who has chosen the most severe option on every question would score 0 points.