What You Need to About Osteoarthritis of the Hip
Sometimes called "wear-and-tear" arthritis, osteoarthritis is a common condition that many people develop during middle age or older. In 2011, more than 28 million people in the United States were estimated to have osteoarthritis. It can occur in any joint in the body, but most often develops in weight-bearing joints, such as the hip.
Hip osteoarthritis is a common type of osteoarthritis (OA). Since the hip is a weight bearing joint, osteoarthritis can cause significant problems. About 1 in 4 Americans can expect to develop osteoarthritis of the hip during their lifetime, according to research presented at the 2006 American College of Rheumatology annual meeting.
Osteoarthritis of the hip causes pain and stiffness. It can make it hard to do everyday activities like bending over to tie a shoe, rising from a chair, or taking a short walk.
Because osteoarthritis gradually worsens over time, the sooner you start treatment, the more likely it is that you can lessen its impact on your life. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many treatment options to help you manage pain and stay active.
Anatomy of Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
The hip is one of the body's largest joints. It is a "ball-and-socket" joint. The socket is formed by the acetabulum, which is part of the large pelvis bone. The ball is the femoral head, which is the upper end of the femur (thighbone).
The bone surfaces of the ball and socket are covered with articular cartilage, a smooth, slippery substance that protects and cushions the bones and enables them to move easily.
The surface of the joint is covered by a thin lining called the synovium. In a healthy hip, the synovium produces a small amount of fluid that lubricates the cartilage and aids in movement.
Description of Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative type of arthritis that occurs most often in people 50 years of age and older, though it may occur in younger people, too.
In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the hip joint gradually wears away over time. As the cartilage wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protective joint space between the bones decreases. This can result in bone rubbing on bone. To make up for the lost cartilage, the damaged bones may start to grow outward and form bone spurs (osteophytes).
Osteoarthritis develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time.
Causes of Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
Hip Joint Inflammation- Osteoarthritis of hip joint is a progressive inflammatory joint disease which causes degeneration of synovial membrane and joint cartilages. Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease which affects 27 million Americans. Most common joints affected are hip, knee, hands and facet joints. Symptoms such as pain and joint swelling may or may not respond to anti-inflammatory medications. Joint swelling is caused by bony growth of joint edges and synovitis resulting in inflammatory water retention of synovial membrane.
Hip osteoarthritis is caused by deterioration of articular cartilage and wear-and-tear of the hip joint. There are several reasons this can develop:
previous hip injury
previous fracture, which changes hip alignment
congenital and developmental hip disease
subchondral bone that is too soft or too hard
Even if you do not have any of the risk factors listed above, you can still develop osteoarthritis.
Symptoms and Signs of Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
Symptoms of Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
Patients who have hip osteoarthritis have pain localized to the groin area and the front or side of the thigh. Morning stiffness, though for less duration than occurs with rheumatoid arthritis, is also characteristic of hip osteoarthritis.
Most significantly, there is limited range of motion of the hip and pain during motion. The symptoms can worsen to the point that pain is constantly present.
The most common symptom of hip osteoarthritis is pain around the hip joint. Usually, the pain develops slowly and worsens over time, although sudden onset is also possible. Pain and stiffness may be worse in the morning, or after sitting or resting for a while. Over time, painful symptoms may occur more frequently, including during rest or at night.
Sex- Hip Joint Osteoarthritis is common among females than males.
Age- Hip Joint Osteoarthritis is most common over age of 40 years.
Pain- at rest and during activities.
Joint Stiffness- during active hip joint movement.
Range of Joint Movements- limited.
Pain during Change of Position- severe pain observed during change of position like sitting to standing position or getting in and out of car.
Referred Pain- Pain often felt in buttocks, knee and ankle.
Additional symptoms may include:
Pain in your groin or thigh that radiates to your buttocks or your knee
Pain that flares up with vigorous activity
Stiffness in the hip joint that makes it difficult to walk or bend
"Locking" or "sticking" of the joint, and a grinding noise (crepitus) during movement caused by loose fragments of cartilage and other tissue interfering with the smooth motion of the hip
Decreased range of motion in the hip that affects the ability to walk and may cause a limp
Increased joint pain with rainy weather
Signs of Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
Swelling of the joint, or affected joint seems to be larger than normal joint or opposite joint.
Tenderness on deep pressure over joint.
Loss of maximum range of joint motion.
Stiffness observed during passive hip joint movement.
Skin temperature over joint- warmer.
Muscles of the Affected Limb- loss of muscle mass or muscle atrophy observed.
Grating or Crackling Sound- heard in the affected limb.
Doctor Examination and Treatment for Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
During your appointment, your doctor will talk with you about your symptoms and medical history, conduct a physical examination, and possibly order diagnostic tests, such as x-rays.
Early diagnosis and treatment help manage hip osteoarthritis symptoms.
An overview of hip osteoarthritis will help you understand symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
Diagnostic Clinical Findings for Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
Hip Joint Pain.
Hip Joint Tenderness.
Hip Joint Deformity or Swelling.
Hip Joint Stiffness.
Hip Joint Crackling or Grating Sound.
Your doctor will consider your complete medical history, results from your physical examination, and x-rays to determine the extent of joint damage and formulate a diagnosis of hip osteoarthritis. If more information is needed, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may be ordered by your doctor. Blood tests may be used if it is necessary to rule out other types of arthritis.
During the physical examination, your doctor will look for:
Tenderness about the hip
Range of passive (assisted) and active (self-directed) motion
Crepitus (a grating sensation inside the joint) with movement
Pain when pressure is placed on the hip
Problems with your gait (the way you walk)
Any signs of injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the hip
X-rays. These imaging tests create detailed pictures of dense structures, like bones. X-rays of an arthritic hip may show a narrowing of the joint space, changes in the bone, and the formation of bone spurs (osteophytes).
Other imaging tests. Occasionally, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, a computed tomography (CT) scan, or a bone scan may be needed to better determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues of your hip.
Treatment for Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a number of treatment options that will help relieve pain and improve mobility.
Conservative Treatment for Hip Joint Osteoarthritis
Exercise, Swimming and Yoga Therapy.
Heat or Cold Therapy.
Cane, Walker or Wheelchair for Ambulation.
As with other arthritic conditions, early treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip is nonsurgical. Your doctor may recommend a range of treatment options.
Lifestyle modifications. Some changes in your daily life can protect your hip joint and slow the progress of osteoarthritis.
Minimizing activities that aggravate the condition, such as climbing stairs.
Switching from high-impact activities (like jogging or tennis) to lower impact activities (like swimming or cycling) will put less stress on your hip.
Losing weight can reduce stress on the hip joint, resulting in less pain and increased function.
Physical therapy. Specific exercises can help increase range of motion and flexibility, as well as strengthen the muscles in your hip and leg. Your doctor or physical therapist can help develop an individualized exercise program that meets your needs and lifestyle.
Assistive devices. Using walking supports like a cane, crutches, or a walker can improve mobility and independence. Using assistive aids like a long-handled reacher to pick up low-lying things will help you avoid movements that may cause pain.
Medications. If your pain affects your daily routine, or is not relieved by other nonsurgical methods, your doctor may add medication to your treatment plan.
Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter pain reliever that can be effective in reducing mild arthritis pain. Like all medications, however, over-the-counter pain relievers can cause side effects and interact with other medications you are taking. Be sure to discuss potential side effects with your doctor.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include naproxen and ibuprofen. Other NSAIDs are available by prescription.
Corticosteroids (also known as cortisone) are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can be taken by mouth or injected into the painful joint.
Your doctor may recommend surgery if your pain from arthritis causes disability and is not relieved with nonsurgical treatment.
Osteotomy. Either the head of the thighbone or the socket is cut and realigned to take pressure off of the hip joint. This procedure is used only rarely to treat osteoarthritis of the hip.
Hip resurfacing. In this hip replacement procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage in the acetabulum (hip socket) is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The head of the femur, however, is not removed, but instead capped with a smooth metal covering.
Total hip replacement. Your doctor will remove both the damaged acetabulum and femoral head, and then position new metal, plastic or ceramic joint surfaces to restore the function of your hip.
Animation courtesy Visual Health Solutions, Inc.
Complications. Although complications are possible with any surgery, your doctor will take steps to minimize the risks. The most common complications of surgery include:
Limb length inequality
Damage to blood vessels or arteries
Your doctor will discuss possible complications with you before your surgery.
After any type of surgery for osteoarthritis of the hip, there is a period of recovery. Recovery time and rehabilitation depends on the type of surgery performed.
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help you regain strength in your hip and to restore range of motion. After your procedure, you may need to use a cane, crutches, or a walker for a time.
In most cases, surgery relieves the pain of osteoarthritis and makes it possible to perform daily activities more easily.
Recommend one hip brace for recovery
- Hip Dislocation or Potential High Risk Dislocation
- Hip Displasia - Anterior or Posterior
- Hip Management/ Immobilization
- Hip Revisions
- Hip Surgery
- Stabilize, Align & Reinforce Hip
- Ease of adjustment
- Patient compliance
- Maintain proper hip position
- Adjustability in multiple body planes
- Universal designed stay suits both side
- Five blocking bolts limit hip flexion from 0~140 degree. Adjustable in every 20 degree
- Dual joints for hip flexion and abduction control
- Soft abdominal band and thigh band suit for most wearer