Your hip is a ball & socket joint in the pelvis. It connects your torso to the legs and helps you to move. It is formed by the ball at the upper end of the thigh bone sitting in a socket in the pelvis. The ball and socket have a snug fit. Ligaments & muscles make the joint stable. The bony ends are lined by a natural cushion called cartilage. This is the smooth shiny lining of the joint. It protects and cushions the bone ends. Arthritis or arthrosis is the leading cause of hip pain. In this condition there is a progressive wearing away of joint cartilage. It is manifested by pain, stiffness, limp and reduced mobility.
Primary hip arthritis is a condition affecting Caucasians. It starts in middle age and follows a relentless path dominated by hip pain.
Secondary hip arthritis is the end result of a number of other hip diseases and affects younger patients. Some of the conditions leading to secondary arthritis are
Post traumatic arthritis
Slipped upper femoral epiphyses (SUFE)
Sequlae of child hood sepsis
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Other causes that can lead to arthritis are obesity.
The common conditions in the above list are discussed separately under hip conditions.
As the joint cartilage wears away, the underlying bone becomes exposed. Bone starts grating against bone causing pain. Spurs form at the margins of the joint. Eventually pain becomes intolerable resulting in the patient seeking surgical intervention.
Conservative measures to reduce pain and inflammation are tried at first. Weight control is advised for obese. Hydrotherapy is a very useful method. Those with hip arthritis are advised to restrict walking on a treadmill, EFX in the gymn. Cycling and rowing are encouraged. Pain medications may be prescribed for a short duration.
If the above conservative measures have not worked, then I recommend surgery.
I offer Total hip replacement, hip resurfacing and short stem hip replacements like METHA hip as surgical options for hip arthritis.
To know more about indications for Birmingham hip resurfacing procedure & Short Stem hip replacement, please see the FAQ's page here.