Hip Arthritis or Hip Osteoarthritis causes the degeneration and breakdown of the hip’s cartilage, either due to inflammation or injury to the hip. Arthritis of the hip is also called the degenerative arthritis or age-related arthritis of the hip, as it is also an age-related disease.
Cartilage primarily made of water and proteins cover the ends of the normal joints. Its primary function is to act as a shock absorber, allowing it to change shape when compressed. Cartilage can undergo repairs when damaged but the body does not grow new cartilage.
Hip Osteoarthritis patients have difficulty in walking and diagnosis is difficult at first because the pain can appear in different locations, like the groin, thigh, buttocks or knee. The hip joint pain is either a dull one or a stabbing one and the hip stiffen.
Osteoarthritis has no cure but there are treatments that can help relieve the pain and increase mobility, if administered in the early stages.
Non – Surgical Treatment
The doctors would recommend the following non-surgical treatment in the beginning:
Changes in Activity also includes modifications in lifestyle as shown below:
Change in the daily routine and avoiding activities that can aggravate the symptoms.
Swapping the patient’s high-impact activities (running, tennis etc.) to lower impact activities (walking, swimming etc.) to reduce the stress on the hip.
Losing the extra weight can help reduce the stress on the hip joint, thus reducing the pain and increase its function.
The doctors might prescribe the following medications to relieve the symptoms like pain:
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications: like Ibuprofen etc. are prescribed to help in reducing pain and inflammation.
Physical Therapy: is recommended for the improvement of range of motion and flexibility of the hip and also for strengthening the muscles around the joint, which in turn will help relieve the stress on the injured cartilage.
Walking Aids: like cane, crutches or a walker will help improving the mobility of the patient and help in avoiding pain inducing movements.
The doctor will recommend surgical treatments when the symptoms cannot be relieved with the non-surgical treatment and the risks of disability from the pain. The doctors usually recommend Total Hip Replacement as the best option.
This is also called Hip Arthroplasty, which is an option when the hip joint pain deters performing the daily activities and also as a last option when other treatments does not work.
Usually in a Hip Replacement surgery, the doctor removes the injured or damaged sections of the hip joint and replaces them with parts constructed from metal or hard plastic. This prosthesis will help reduce pain and improve functionality.
The other treatment options available for Hip Arthritis are:
This is a type of hip replacement, where the damaged bone and cartilage in hip socket or Acetabulum is removed and replaced with a metal shell, without removing the head of the femur but capping it with a smooth metal covering instead.
This is a rare treatment procedure where the head of the thigh bone or the socket is cut and realigned to relieve the hip joint’s pressure.