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Help for Hip Pain
- Osteoarthritis (which causes a degeneration of the cushioning of the surface of the hip socket)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (which causes swelling of the hip joint)
- Avascular necrosis (an interrupted blood supply to the hip joint causing the eventual loss of bone tissue in that area)
- Injury (caused either by a bone tumor or by a break or fracture of the hip joint)
- Physical therapy and pain relievers—Physical therapy is prescribed to strengthen the hip. Pain medication may include either nonaspirin relievers (ie, Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen .
- Steroid medications—In cases where NSAIDs are no longer effective and the diagnosis includes a form of inflammatory arthritis, steroid-based anti-inflammatory/pain medication such as prednisone may be prescribed. Because these don't control the pain for long and have potential long-term side effects—weakening of joints, weight loss and/or a decrease in the functioning of the immune system—steroids are not considered a long-term option.
- Osteotomy—In this procedure, the damaged portion of the hip joint is removed and the joint is reconfigured to its proper position. Recovery from an osteotomy may take anywhere from 6-12 months. In many cases, osteotomy requires additional treatments, and in most cases, it serves to delay rather than avoid the need for hip replacement surgery.
- Core decompression—is used in patients with femoral head osteonecrosis at the early stage
- Surgical debridement—may be used for a variety of hip disorders
- Resection arthroplasty —for patients who have a chronic infection of the hip or are affected by certain bone tumors
- Hip arthroscopy
- Hip arthrodesis—also known as hip fusion
Hip Replacement Surgery
- The damaged portion of the hip joint (including the bone and cartilage) are removed.
- The hip socket (into which the ball at the top of the femur fits) is lined with a smooth plastic material, allowing for smooth (and painless) movement of the ball in the hip socket.
- The rounded ball-shaped portion of bone at the top of the femur is replaced by an artificial ball made of either metal or ceramic.
Getting Back on Your Feet
- Hip dislocation (most common complication)—occurs when the ball portion of the prosthesis dislocates from its normal position in the hip
- Blood clots
- Swelling or bleeding
- Loosening of the artificial joint within the hip socket (the most common long-term postoperative problem)
- Prior to surgery, arrange your home so that during your initial recovery period, you can keep your movement as safe as possible.
- Follow all of your doctor's and therapist's orders as to what physical activity you can and cannot do, especially while recuperating.
- Diligently follow your physical therapy and prescribed home exercise regimen.
- If you develop any unusual pain in the new joint or develop any kind of an infection, contact your primary care doctor or your surgeon immediately.
- After your rehabilitation period is over, continue with your home-prescribed physical therapy exercises.
- Avoid activities or sports that can cause you to fall or that put a large amount of stress on your joints (jogging, running , racquetball, singles tennis, basketball, skiing). Instead, opt for exercises that put limited stress on joints ( swimming , walking , or doubles tennis).
Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org/
National Institutes of Health http://www.nih.gov/
Canadian Arthritis Network http://www.arthritisnetwork.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php/
Ganz, R, Gill, TJ, Gautier, E, et al. Surgical dislocation of the adult hip a technique with full access to the femoral head and acetabulum without the risk of avascular necrosis. J Bone Joint Surg Br . 2001; 83:1119.
Kellicker PG. Hip Replacement. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=15&topicID=81. Updated November 13, 2009. Accessed March 16, 2010.
McCarthy, JC. Hip Arthroscopy: Applications and Technique. J Am Acad Orthop Surg . 1995; 3:115.
Simank, HG, Brocai, DR, Brill, C, Lukoschek, M. Comparison of results of core decompression and intertrochanteric osteotomy for nontraumatic osteonecrosis of the femoral head using Cox regression and survivorship analysis. J Arthroplasty . 2001; 16:790.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Update Date: 03/16/2010