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.
Causes & Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
In America, there are over 10 million people reported to be diagnosed with osteoarthritis. You can develop the disease even if you do not have any risk factors, though you are more likely to get it if you have a family history of osteoarthritis. Elderly, obese, or hip cartilage stress injured people will also be at increased risk.
Our patients report discomfort and stiffness in the groin, buttock or thigh regions when they wake up in the mornings. This pain intensifies when activity levels are raised and improve when the body is at rest.
If treatment is not obtained for osteoarthritis, the condition will worsen until resting no longer alleviates the pain. The gip joints will get stiff and inflamed, cartilage will wear away completely which greatly increases the pain felt by the patient as the bones rub directly against each other. Patients often become less active in a bid to reduce and avoid the pain, however, the muscles controlling the joint weakens due to inactivity, thus causing the patient to limp.
Here at KSF, we offer two types of treatment for osteoarthritis based on the progression of the disease in the patient. The effects of osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, however, our recommended non-surgical treatment for patients with early symptoms can help to reduce pain, disability and slow down the progression of the disease. In cases where patients are experiencing severe symptoms of the disease, our team of specialists will recommend surgical treatment.
When a patient is in the later stages of osteoarthritis and experiencing severe symptoms our specialist team recommends surgical treatment. This entails the patient receiving a two-piece ball and socket replacement for the hip joint. This will cure the pain and improve the patient’s ability to walk.
When a patient is in the early stages of osteoarthritis we offer the following course of treatment:
- Resting the hip from overuse
- Following a gentle and regular exercise routine such as swimming, water aerobics or cycling to keep the joint functioning and improving its strength and motion.
- Making use of anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen for pain
- Ensuring that you are getting a regular amount of sleep each night
- Losing weight if you are overweight – the use of a cane may be required as the disease progresses
Recovery & Rehabilitation
After surgical treatment, a few days may be required in the hospital for recovery in addition to the use of crutches or a walker for a while after the surgery. At KSF we emphasize rehabilitation for the patient to ensure that they restore the flexibility in the hip and to work their muscles into shape. Learn more about osteoarthritis of the hip here.