Front strut wear-out symptoms?

I wonder what symptoms people experience as the front struts/shocks/dampers begin to wear out on Audis.
I've got a '98 A4 Quattro, 82,000mi on the odometer. I bought it used, so I
don't know if the front struts have ever been replaced. I'm noticing:
1) a slight "hitch" through the steering wheel when braking at slow speeds 2) a thumping in the front end, when crossing a gutter or a speed bump.
Is replacing the front struts a job a handy person can do, or does it require professional help? And probably an alignment afterwards?
Thanks for you thoughts.
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Tthe latter sounds like the control arm issue. It's a common problem on that vintage of A4. Do a search on audiworld.com for "control arm symptom". Audi struts usually last longer than 80,000 miles.

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