Arthritis of the Hip
Arthritis is the most common cause of chronic hip pain and disability. There are more than one hundred forms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis are the most common forms that affect the hip.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and usually occurs in individuals over the age of 50. It is often diagnosed in patients with a family history of osteoarthritis. The cartilage that covers the surface of the bones of the hip thins and wears away. The absence of a protective layer of cartilage allows the bones to rub against one another causing hip pain, swelling and stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which chronic inflammation causes thinning of the cartilage surface resulting in pain, swelling and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects multiple joints of the body simultaneously.
Traumatic arthritis can develop in a hip that was previous injured. A hip fracture or dislocation may eventually lead to the damage of the articular cartilage over time, causing hip pain and limited hip function.
Treatment Options for Hip Arthritis
In the majority of cases, a number of non-surgical treatments are considered prior to undergoing hip replacement. Prior to considering surgery, Dr. McLaughlin may discuss alternative treatment options including medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or analgesics (such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen), hip injections or exercises. Dr. McLaughlin may talk to you about additional alternatives such as weight loss, the use of a cane, and activity modification. The decision to undergo a hip replacement is a “quality of life” decision and is considered when other treatment options fail.
In general, patients undergo a hip replacement when they begin avoiding activities that they used to enjoy because of hip pain. It is reasonable to consider a hip replacement when basic daily activities such as walking, shopping and exercising become difficult because of hip pain. Learn more......Click "Considering Hip Replacement" below.
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