Osteoarthritis of the Hip

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What is Osteoarthritis of the Hip?

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between bones is worn down, taking away the protective cushion that your body relies on. As the cartilage disappears, the bones can rub against each other.
Osteoarthritis can impact any joint in the body, but it’s most commonly found in the joints that bear weight, such as the knees and hips. Hip osteoarthritis can be painful, but thankfully, there is a wide range of treatment options available.

Whom Does Hip Osteoarthritis Affect?

Osteoarthritis in general is a degenerative disease that typically impacts older patients. While people of any age can potentially develop the condition, hip osteoarthritis largely affects those who are 50 or older.

Hip osteoarthritis can also be found in patients who have previously experienced a hip injury. Those who are significantly overweight or those with a family history of the condition may also be at increased risk.

Finally, patients with developmental dysplasia of the hip may develop hip osteoarthritis later in life. Development dysplasia of the hip is a condition in which the hip joint is improperly formed at birth

What are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis of the Hip?

As with any form of osteoarthritis, the most common hip osteoarthritis symptom is pain. Some patients experience a sudden onset of pain, but in most cases, the discomfort begins slowly and gets worse as time progresses. Some patients also report increased pain or stiffness after a long period of rest, like first thing in the morning.

Other hip osteoarthritis symptoms include stiffness in the joint, difficulty walking, a decreased range of motion, increased pain during rainy weather, and “locking” or “sticking” sensations in the joint. These sensations often occur because of the bones rubbing against each other and trying to overcome the friction caused by lack of cartilage.

How is Hip Osteoarthritis Treated?

Experts have not yet found a cure for osteoarthritis of the hip. Luckily, though, there are several ways to undergo hip osteoarthritis treatment and get back to your normal way of life.

At first, your doctor will take you through nonsurgical treatment methods to try to reduce your pain and restore your range of motion in the hip. Medications are often an effective way to reduce pain. You may be prescribed acetaminophen, an NSAID pain reliever, or a corticosteroid.

Physical therapy can also be helpful in increasing your range of motion and strengthening the muscles needed to support your hip. In addition to your physical therapy regimen, your physician may also recommend the use of an assistive device like a walker or cane. These devices can keep pressure off of the hip while still allowing you to get around as needed.

Finally, there are several lifestyle changes you can enact to protect your hip, decrease pain, and slow the progression of the condition. Your doctor may recommend avoiding stairs when possible and choosing low-impact exercises (such as walking or swimming) over more strenuous options. For some patients, losing weight can take some stress off of the hip joint, resulting in pain reduction.

Hip Osteoarthritis Surgical Treatment Options

If nonsurgical treatment methods are not helping, your doctor may turn to surgery. There are several different approaches to hip osteoarthritis surgery, and your physician will work with you to determine the right method.

Many of our Fort Myers, Estero and Naples patients will undergo a total hip replacement to treat their osteoarthritis. The damaged elements of the hip are removed and replaced with new joint surfaces made with ceramic, metal, or plastic.

Another option is hip resurfacing. During this procedure, the hip socket’s bone and cartilage are removed and a metal shell is inserted. The femur head is left in place, but a smooth metal covering is added to reduce friction in the joint.

A less common option for surgery is osteotomy. This procedure involves cutting and realigning either than head of the thighbone or the socket. The goal with this surgery is to take pressure away from the hip joint to relieve pain.

To learn more about Hip Osteoarthritis treatment options in the Fort Myers, Estero and Naples area, contact Orthopedic Center of Florida.

Meet our Hip Doctors:

John A. Berra, DO

John A. Berra, DO

Fellowship Trained Orthopedic SurgeonOrthopedic Services and Sports Medicine SpecialtiesHip[button...

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Mark E. Farmer, MD

Mark E. Farmer, MD

Fellowship Trained Fort Myers Orthopedic SurgeonOrthopedic Services and Sports Medicine SpecialtiesShoulder[button...

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Ed Gomez, MD

Ed Gomez, MD

Board Certified Orthopaedic SurgeonOrthopedic Services and Sports Medicine SpecialtiesShoulder[button...

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