The hip joints are involved in almost every activity. Simple movements such as walking, bending and turning require the use of hip and knee joints. Normally, all parts of these joints work together and the joint moves easily without pain. But when the joint becomes diseased or injured, the resulting pain can severely limit the ability to move and work. Osteoarthritis, one of the most common forms of degenerative joint disease, affects an estimated 43 million people in the United States.
Common Causes of Hip Joint Pain
Sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it is a “wearing out” condition involving the breakdown of cartilage and bones. When cartilage wears away, the bones rub against each other, causing pain and stiffness. OA usually occurs in people aged 50 years and older and frequently in individuals with a family history of arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Causes the synovium to become thickened and inflamed. In turn, too much synovial fluid is produced within the joint space, which causes chronic inflammation that damages the cartilage. This results in cartilage loss, pain and stiffness. RA affects women about three times more often than men and may affect other organs of the body.
May develop after an injury to the joint in which the bone and cartilage do not heal properly. The joint is no longer smooth, and these irregularities lead to more wear on the joint.
Can result when bone is deprived of its normal blood supply. Without proper nutrition from blood, the bone’s structure weakens and may collapse and damage the cartilage.
A bone disease that often affects the hip. Bone formation is sped up, causing the density and shape of the bone to change. Joint pain can also be caused by deformity or direct injury to the joint. In some cases, joint pain is made worse when the person avoids using a painful joint, weakening the muscles and making the joint even more difficult to move.
Following an evaluation, the orthopedic surgeon will review and discuss results with the patient. Based on the diagnosis, treatment options may include:
- Joint fluid supplements
- Physical therapy
- Joint replacement
Hip Joint Replacement
Hip replacement is one of the most important surgical advances. This surgery helps more than 300,000 Americans each year relieve their pain and get back to enjoying normal, everyday activities. Hip replacement involves removal of arthritic bone ends and damaged cartilage and replacing them with prosthetic implants that replicate the hip joint.
Hip replacement surgery may be considered when arthritis limits everyday activities such as walking and bending, when pain continues while resting or when stiffness in the hip limits the ability to move or lift the legs. Hip replacement may be recommended only after careful diagnosis of the joint problem. It is time to consider surgery if there is little pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs or other treatments, such as physical therapy, do not relieve hip pain. Hip replacement can help relieve pain and get patients back to enjoying normal, everyday activities.
Total hip replacement is often reserved for patients who have a painful, disabling joint disease of the hip resulting in pain that affects quality of life and is not responding to conservative treatments.
In a total hip replacement operation, the surgeon replaces the worn surfaces of the hip joint with an artificial hip joint. The worn head of the femur (thigh bone) is replaced with a metal or ceramic ball mounted on a stem; the stem is placed firmly into the canal of the thigh bone at its upper end. The acetabulum (hip socket) is prepared and implanted with a metal cup and plastic or ceramic insert. The ball and insert glide together to replicate the hip joint.
Discover the latest and most effective care and treatment for all your orthopedic and sports medicine needs at G.O. Ortho. Call (315) 735-4496 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. We help patients from New Hartford, Rome, Whitesboro, Clinton, Herkimer and nearby communities.