How Does the Hip Joint Work?
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The femoral head is the ball at the apex of the femur (thigh bone). The acetabulum, or socket, is a component of the pelvis. The leg can rotate and move forward, backward, and sideways because the ball rotates in the socket. The ball and socket part of a healthy hip joint is protected by a gleaming coating known as articular cartilage. This cartilage, which appears as a space between the ball and the socket on an X-ray, is what permits the bones of the hip joint to slide together smoothly with less resistance than ice sliding on ice. The labrum, a particular layer of very strong cartilage in the acetabulum, is also present. The hip joint's structure allows for a wide range of motion. Because of the vast region between the femoral head and the labrum-lined acetabulum, it is a particularly stable joint.
What Is Arthritis?
The most common cause of hip discomfort and pain is arthritis. Arthritis is a very progressive disease, meaning that it develops gradually and worsens over time. The term arthritis literally means joint inflammation. The hip can be affected by a variety of arthritis forms. Your treatment options may be influenced by the type of arthritis you have.
What Are the Types of Arthritis?
The important types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint are:
Although there is no treatment for any type of arthritis, the pain and other symptoms can be managed.
What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis?
The following are symptoms of hip arthritis, regardless of the form of arthritis:
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may experience fatigue and weakness. Arthritis outbreaks and relapses are common. However, other persons have relatively steady pain levels without flares.
Since any type of arthritis can affect multiple joints in the body, a person with osteoarthritis of the hands may also get osteoarthritis of the hip. Both hips are usually affected by rheumatoid arthritis and lupus at the same time, but osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis may affect one hip but not the other.
What Causes Hip Arthritis?
The hip joint just wears out and tears over time. It commonly affects individuals in their 60s and in older age. As people get older, they are more likely to get osteoarthritis.
The joints that are involved, how severely they are affected, and at what age they become affected vary from person to person, such as:
Hip arthritis can also be caused by other underlying conditions in younger patients:
Autoimmune inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Hip injuries caused by trauma.
Hip impingement and hip dysplasia put a strain on the joints, causing premature cartilage degeneration.
Hip arthritis is more likely to develop as you get older and have a family history of it. Patients who are obese or people who have had a hip joint injury may see their cartilage wear out more quickly.
Unfortunately, once the arthritic process begins, it is nearly usually unavoidable for it to progress. All of these processes lead to the loss of cartilage in the hip joint, which results in bone-on-bone friction in the hip part. Whereas people with arthritis have a wide range of pain and incapacity.
How Is Arthritis Diagnosed?
The most crucial first step if you feel you have hip arthritis is to get a proper diagnosis. The following are likely to be included in a diagnostic evaluation:
Your medical history, including any discomfort you have had and whether you have ever limped.
A physical examination to see how effectively you can move your hips in particular.
Radiographs or X-rays are used to see if the joint has any abnormalities.
Antibodies linked to a certain type of arthritis can be detected by blood tests (only if required).
What Are the Treatment Options for Arthritis?
The specialists will recommend a treatment plan based on your specific form of arthritis as well as other considerations such as your overall health, age, and personal preferences.
Your inflammatory illness will determine the therapy method for controlling your symptoms. Several advances in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis have made a significant difference in the lives of those who suffer from the condition. When treated early, inflammatory arthritis can often be successfully controlled with drugs, and it can even go into remission.
Naproxen and Ibuprofen are examples of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) that can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Both over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs are available.
Prednisone and other corticosteroid medicines are powerful anti-inflammatories that can also weaken the immune system. They can be administered orally or intravenously.
Certain injections like corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the hip can also help relieve pain.
DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) work on the immune system to assist and reduce the disease's progression. Methotrexate is a routinely administered disease-modifying antirheumatic drug.
Biologics, which are genetically designed proteins that target specific areas of the immune system that cause inflammation, are a class of newer drugs on the market. Patients diagnosed with rheumatoid, psoriatic arthritis, and other types of autoimmune inflammatory arthritis may benefit from these medications.
Physical therapy, which may include specific exercises, can help you improve your hip's range of motion and strengthen the muscles that support it.
Regular, moderate exercise may also help to reduce stiffness and increase endurance. Because spinal motion may be reduced in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, swimming is a suggested exercise.
Using a walker or reacher as an assistive device may make it easier for you to do daily tasks.
Lifestyle changes can also assist in alleviating the symptoms of hip arthritis. These include:
Maintaining a healthy weight and, if necessary, reducing weight.
Appropriate pain control.
Changing your activities to reduce hip stress.
Exercising in order to gain strength.
Many persons with hip arthritis can benefit from surgery. Surgery can help you minimize pain, improve your quality of life, and do everyday tasks with fewer or no restrictions.
If the hip joint is significantly injured, total hip replacement may be necessary.
In less difficult situations, osteotomy surgery may be indicated. Hip osteotomy surgery involves cutting and repositioning the joint surfaces such that the healthy part of the hip joint can bear the majority of the body's weight. Osteotomy surgery is only appropriate for a small number of patients.
The risks and benefits of your surgical choices will be explored if you are an appropriate candidate for hip surgery.
Arthritis is tough to diagnose by oneself. Try to discuss your symptoms and difficulties with your primary care physician as soon as possible. A rheumatologist or orthopedist may be referred to you in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis and receive the medical care you require. Your illness may develop and cause disability if left undiagnosed and untreated.
Frequently Asked Questions