What is osteoarthritis of the hip?
As with other joints that are responsible for carrying our weight, the hips are at risk of developing osteoarthritis, which is mostly a condition of wear. This wear concerns the cartilage which is a very smooth and smooth tissue that brushes the joint surfaces so as to achieve smooth and painless movement of all joints.
Cartilage wear essentially means thinning it so much that in the end the bones are exposed and “rubbed” together during the movement of the joints, a fact that causes intense pain.
What are the causes of osteoarthritis of the hip
About 10 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip. Hereditary history is considered an aggravating factor, as are age, obesity, and a history of joint trauma. Osteoarthritis can of course occur in a patient without other risk factors.
What are the symptoms?
The first symptom may be a feeling of stiffness and mild pain in the groin or hip, symptoms that worsen after fatigue, walking and improve with rest. If no treatment is taken, the condition worsens and there is pain even at rest.
The joint becomes even stiffer and inflamed, while osteophytes are formed. Over time the cartilage of the joint wears out completely and the bones come in contact with each other. This makes every movement of the joint painful and in the end it is very difficult to turn and bend the hip.
How is the diagnosis made?
For the diagnosis you need:
- Get a good history from your doctor
- Physical Examination
- Radiographic inspection
How is the problem addressed?
A “worn” joint cannot be restored to its previous normal state. Thus, non-surgical treatment aims to reduce pain, improve mobility and slow the course of osteoarthritis. It consists of:
- Reduction of excessive use of the joint
- Physiotherapy that includes gentle exercise to maintain good joint mobility and strengthen the muscles of the area
- Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Weight loss if the patient is overweight
- Intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid or cortisone if appropriate.
If the osteoarthritis is in more advanced stages and the pain is very intense restricting your gait, then you need surgical treatment in which the joint is substantially replaced (hip arthroplasty).
Advises Mr. Petros Kyriazopoulos, Orthopedic Surgeon, Doctor of the University of Athens