What is Hip Arthritis?
One of the most frequent cases of hip pain, this condition is highlighted when the cartilage of the joint progressively wears away. The most common causes of Hip Arthritis happens to be Osteoarthritis as it is more often referred to as the 'wear-and-tear' Arthritis once the normal smooth cartilage wears away until bare bone is exposed. Other types of Arthritis include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gouty Arthritis and Lupus Arthritis.
Usually affecting patients older than 50 years of age, Hip Arthritis is also a common condition in overweight individuals. Some unusual causes of Arthritis are:
- Developmental Dysplasia — When a hip is dislocated or out of position in infancy, the joint may not develop properly, and will lead to arthritis and problems with walking at a young age
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease— This is similar to Osteonecrosis (reduced blood supply to the bone), but happens during childhood, and can lead to permanent damage of the hip leading to early Arthritis
The most common and apparent signs of Hip Arthritis is pain when putting weight on the affected hip even from simple everyday activities such as walking or sitting down for a long time. Other symptoms can include:
A limp, which is the body's way of protecting the hip
Difficulty walking over low obstacles on the ground
Stiffness, which may cause difficulty with certain activities such as getting into or out of a low chair or a car or using the toilet
As the condition becomes worse, the patient may feel pain all the time, even at night.
Treatments for Arthritis can vary depending on the severity of the condition but can include:
- Heat to relax and loosen tissues and stimulate blood flow to the area
- Ice to minimise inflammation
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
- Rest to allow the acute inflammation to subside
- Hip Replacement Surgery may be considered in the following situations:
- If Arthritis limits your everyday activities such as walking and bending
- If pain continues while resting
- If stiffness limits your ability to move or lift your leg
- If you have little pain relief from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Hip Replacement Surgery involves replacing the head of the thigh bone (Femur) and the hip socket (Acetabulum). Hip Resurfacing, which retains more of your bone, may be appropriate for younger, more active patients.