Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people globally. Sometimes called wear and tear arthritis, Osteoarthritis (OA) can be painful and debilitating. OA can affect any joint, but it can throw the entire body out of rhythm when it involves the hip. Hip Osteoarthritis can happen at any age, but starts, most often, in the 50s and tends to affect women more than men. Typically, this hip condition has a gradual onset and becomes more painful over time. However, there are ways to manage Hip OA to prevent or lessen the pain and remain mobile.
What is the Hip Osteoarthritis?
Hip Osteoarthritis occurs when the smooth cushion between bones wears down over time. As the cartilage gradually breaks down, the hip joints become increasingly painful, and movement decreases. OA can also cause stiffness, swelling, and in some cases, reduce movement to the point of disability where people are no longer able to work or perform daily tasks.
What Are the Symptoms of Hip Osteoarthritis?
The Symptoms of Hip Osteoarthritis include:
- Pain — You may experience hip pain during or after movement.
- Stiffness - Joint stiffness can be worse upon awakening or after being inactive.
- Tenderness - Your hip might feel tender when you lightly press on it.
- Loss of Flexibility - Your hip may lose its full range of motion.
- Bone Spurs - These are extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps around the hip
- Swelling - The swelling might be caused by tissue inflammation around the joint.
How is Hip Osteoarthritis Diagnosed?
A doctor diagnoses Hip OA by reviewing symptoms, performing a physical examination, taking X-rays, and lab tests. They can rule out if you have soft tissue hip pain, a hip labral tear, or a Femoral Acetabular Impingement. A rheumatologist, a doctor specializing in arthritis, can help if there are any questions about the diagnosis.
How is Hip Osteoarthritis treated?
OA has no cure, but doctors can medically manage it. They usually treat Hip OA symptoms with several conservative therapies, including:
- Increasing Physical Activity - Although it may be painful, physical activity will stop the disease from progressing.
- Physical Therapy - Physical therapy will strengthen the muscles lessening your pain.
- Weight loss - Less pressure on your hip means less pain.
- Medications - A mix of over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs.
- Supportive Devices - Canes can help you move more comfortably and safer.
Failure of conservative measures can lead to surgery.
Schedule an Appointment with an Orthopedist
Although there is no cure for Hip Osteoarthritis, it does not have to be the end of your vitality. The more you move, the better you will feel. If you have any questions about Hip OA, its diagnosis, symptoms, or how we can help, consult with an orthopedic surgeon. Gustavel Orthopedics is the leading provider of sports medicine and orthopedic specialties in Boise, ID.