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How Serious Is Osteoarthritis Of The Hip?

osteoarthritis of the hip

Osteoarthritis is the most common type and is a degenerative joint disease. Most people who develop hip osteoarthritis are older when the cartilage tissue wears down, causing swelling, pain, and sometimes deformity. Osteoarthritis is often referred to as “wear-and-tear arthritis” and can happen in any joint. However, the weight-bearing joints such as the hip are usually most often affected.

The two main types of osteoarthritis are primary and secondary. Primary osteoarthritis generally affects the thumbs, fingers, spine, knees, and hips. 

Inflammation or an injury to a joint due to an accident or another condition impacting the cartilage, such as hemochromatosis, can cause secondary osteoarthritis. 

The Effect Of Osteoarthritis On The Hip Joint

With osteoarthritis of the hip, daily activities such as getting up from a chair, walking, or bending over to tie your shoe can be challenging. The pain can be in different locations, including the thigh, buttocks, knee, and groin, and can be either a dull ache or a stabbing pain, and the hip is most often stiff.

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint and is the second-largest weight-bearing joint in the body, with the knee being the first largest. The upper end of the thigh bone, called the femur, is the ball, and the socket is part of the pelvic bone.

The sooner you begin treatment, the better because osteoarthritis of the hip generally gradually worsens. Early treatment can help lessen osteoarthritis’s impact on your life.

The Causes of Osteoarthritis Of The Hip

Several contributing factors can cause the development of osteoarthritis of the hip, such as:

  • Improper formation of the joints
  • Genetic defects in the cartilage that are inherited
  • Being overweight and putting extra stress on the joints

Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis Of The Hip

Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hip. Generally, the pain worsens in the morning after resting or sitting for an extended time.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Pain that radiates from your thigh or groin area to your knee or buttocks and increases with strenuous activity
  • Stiffness causes difficulty bending or walking
  • A decrease in range of motion in the hip may cause a limp or affect the ability to walk
  • Crepitus is the grinding sound while moving that is loose fragments of cartilage, and the joint sticking or locking
  • An increase in joint pain during rainy weather

If you find yourself having symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hip, consult an osteopathic doctor and develop a treatment plan early. 

Diagnosis Of Osteoarthritis Of The Hip

Your doctor will perform an exam to see how your hip functions and get your medical history first. During the exam, your doctor will check for :

  • Range of motion, both active (self-directed) and passive(assisted)
  • Tenderness around the hip and joint area
  • Crepitus is a grating sensation in the joints associated with movement
  • Issues with the way you walk
  • Signs of injury to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the area surrounding the hip

Often an X-ray is necessary to look for a narrowing of the joint, formation of bone spurs, and changes in the bone. Sometimes a person will need an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan or CT(computerized tomography)scan will be required to see the condition of the soft tissue of the hip and bone.

Treatment For Osteoarthritis Of The Hip

The optimal goal is to improve the person’s mobility and quality of life, improve function, and control pain. Treatment plans incorporate the individual’s needs, severity, and personal condition. Some options are:

  • Exercise or stretching
  • Joint care and rest
  • Weight loss
  • Pain relief using over-the-counter pain relief, pharmaceutical medications, or supplements
  • Surgery
  • Alternative therapies, rehabilitation, and working with a sports medicine doctor

What Is Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement surgery involves replacing the damaged ball with a metal ball and resurfacing the hip socket utilizing a metal shell and a plastic liner.

What Is Hip Resurfacing?

Hip resurfacing is done to delay a hip replacement surgery and can provide some relief from pain. When the doctor resurfacers the hip, they surgically remove the diseased hip joint surfaces, adding a metal substitute while leaving the femur bone is completely preserved

What Can You Do To Prevent Osteoarthritis Of The Hip?

The best prevention you can take to prevent osteoarthritis of the hip is to stay healthy by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising to strengthen the muscles around the joints. By strengthening your muscles, you can help prevent wear and tear on the cartilage in the joints. 

If you find you are experiencing pain and stiffness in the joints, take action as soon as possible.

Let Our Team At Thunder Basin Orthopaedics Help You

Our trained, compassionate staff and experienced surgeons specialize in treating various orthopedic injuries, including sports injuries. Osteoarthritis can be very painful and affect your quality of life.

At Thunder Basin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, our experienced doctors will evaluate you and develop a personalized treatment plan.  Whether you are suffering from hip pain, joint pain, a new injury, or any other issues you may be experiencing, we are here to help.

If you are ready to take the next step towards pain-free living, call us to request an appointment today.