ValleyOrtho’s physician treat a wide range of common hip conditions, including hip arthritis.
The hip joint is configured like a ball-and-socket. The ball is located at the upper end of the thighbone (femur), the socket is located on the pelvis (acetabulum), and the labrum is soft tissue that covers the rim of the acetabulum. Both the ball and socket are covered in joint cartilage for smooth movement.
Osteoarthritis of the hip results from a progressive breakdown (“wear and tear”) of the cartilage on the top of the thighbone or the socket on the pelvis. Gradual loss of this cartilage increases the joint friction, and in extreme cases allows bone to rub against bone. Some arthritic change is normal and expected as we age however, more severe hip arthritis can interfere with activities of daily living and can limit one’s lifestyle.
While nobody is certain what causes arthritis, several things may contribute to its development:
- Family history
- Problems with joint development
- Minor repetitive injures
- Severe trauma to the joint
While being overweight does not necessarily cause arthritis, it can contribute to early joint problems that can worsen quickly. Weight loss can often decrease the pain intensity by decreasing the amount of load placed on the hip.
Hip stiffness and pain in the hip joint, groin and/or thigh from hip arthritis may be worse during certain times of the day, or after certain activities such as:
- Climbing stairs
- Getting in and out of a low chair
- Putting on shoes and socks
- Walking on uneven surfaces
- Sexual activities
- Getting in and out of a car
Diagnosing hip arthritis begins with a thorough physical exam and medical history. The hip joint experts at ValleyOrtho will examine and measure hip range of motion and the muscle strength of the hip. Depending on the findings of the history and exam, imaging tests may be ordered to help make or confirm the diagnosis.
ValleyOrtho’s hip joint specialists utilize the latest research, technology and techniques to provide the right treatment at the right time for each patient. Treatment options depend on the severity of the arthritis and the amount of pain that it is causing. The first line of treatment at ValleyOrtho often involves methods other than surgery.
Some options for nonsurgical treatment of hip arthritis include:
- A physical therapy program to optimize the joint and muscle function at the hip
- Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medicines
- Hip injections to provide temporary pain relief
- Use of a cane or crutches to help unload the painful hip
If non-operative treatments fail and hip pain persists interfering with daily activities, work and/or sleep, the best option may be a total hip replacement. In this surgery, the two ends of the hip’s ball-and-socket joint are replaced with various forms of metal, plastic, and ceramic implants tailored to each patient’s needs. The artificial joint is designed to move just like a healthy human joint, relieving pain and restoring normal function. Physical therapy following total hip replacement will be recommended to optimize outcomes.
Our orthopedic hip specialists realize that arthritis can have a devastating effect on one’s lifestyle and interfere with everyday activities. We are committed to developing complete, customized treatment plans to accommodate our patient’s individual needs.