Osteoarthritis of the Hip
|Like other joints that carry your weight, your hips may be at risk for
"wear and tear" arthritis (osteoarthritis), the most common form of the disease.
The smooth and glistening covering (articular cartilage) on the ends of your bones that
helps your hip joint glide may wear thin. Your first sign may be a bit of discomfort and
stiffness in your groin, buttock or thigh when you wake up in the morning. The pain flares
when youre active and gets better when you rest.
If you dont get treatment
for osteoarthritis of the hip, the condition keeps getting worse until resting no longer
relieves your pain. The hip joint gets stiff and inflamed. Bone spurs might build up at
the edges of the joint. When the cartilage wears away completely, bones rub directly
against each other. This makes it very painful for you to move. You may lose the ability
to rotate, flex or extend your hip. If you become less active to avoid the pain the
muscles controlling your joint get weak, and you may start to limp.
About 30 million Americans have osteoarthritis. Youre more likely to get it if you have a family history of the disease. Youre also at risk if you are elderly, obese or have an injury that puts stress on your hip cartilage. You can get osteoarthritis if you dont have any risk factors. See your doctor as soon as possible if you think you may have it.
Early treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Hip
While you cannot reverse the effects of osteoarthritis, early nonsurgical treatment may help you avoid a lot of pain and disability and slow progression of the disease. Surgery can help you if your condition is already severe. You doctor will determine how much the disease has progressed. Describe your symptoms and when they began. Your doctor may rotate, flex and extend your hips to check for pain. He or she may want you to walk or stand on one leg to see how your hips line up. Both hips will probably be X-rayed to check if hip joint space has changed, and if you have developed bone spurs or other abnormalities.
Nonsurgical treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Hip
If you have early stages of osteoarthritis of the hip, the first treatment may be:
You may need to lose weight if you are overweight. As the disease progresses, you may need to use a cane.
Total hip replacement surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Hip
If you have later stages of osteoarthritis, your hip joint hurts when you rest at night and/or your hip is severely deformed, your doctor may recommend total hip replacement surgery (arthroplasty). You will get a two-piece ball and socket replacement for your hip joint. This will cure your pain and improve your ability to walk. You may need crutches or a walker for awhile after surgery. Rehabilitation is important to restore your hips flexibility and work your muscles back into shape.
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