The hip joint is a weight-bearing joint that undergoes a lot of stress during daily activities. If you experience hip pain, it can affect your ability to walk, bend, stoop and kneel. If left untreated, chronic hip pain can lead to avoidance of normal daily activities and disability.
Common causes of hip pain
Normal wear and tear on the hip joint or injury to the hip joint can lead to osteoarthritis, the most common cause of hip pain. Osteoarthritis most often affects people over the age of 40 and is also known as degenerative joint disease. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage between the hip bones wears away. The bones then rub against each other, causing hip pain. Another common cause of hip pain is bursitis. A bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between a bone and other moving parts: muscles, tendons, or skin. Bursitis occurs when a bursa becomes inflamed (redness and increased fluid in the bursa).
A much less common cause of hip pain is inflammatory arthritis, known as rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects multiple joints within the body, and can affect other organs. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the joints. It occurs when the immune system, which normally defends the body from invading organisms, attacks the membrane lining the joints.
Is Osteoarthritis causing your hip pain?
Below are factors that can contribute to osteoarthritis, which affects an estimated 14% of adults age 25 and older and more than a third of people over age 65.
Factors that contribute to hip pain caused by osteoarthritis:
- Joint injury caused by sports, work or trauma;
- Stress on the joint caused by work, such as heavy lifting, knee bending and repetitive motion. Occupations that are at risk include construction, agriculture, cleaning, maintenance and retail;
- Bone misalignment and muscle weakness.
Do I need to see a doctor for my hip pain?
Symptoms of hip osteoarthritis include hip pain and stiffness in one or both hip joints. Additionally, you may feel pain in the groin, inner thigh, buttocks or even the knees.
The warning signs of osteoarthritis:
- Stiffness in a joint after getting out of bed or sitting for a long time
- Swelling in one or more joints
- Crunching feeling or the sound of bone rubbing on bone
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, a DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital orthopedic doctor can help.
Treatment approaches to hip pain
- Weight control
- Rest and relief from stress on joints
- Nondrug pain relief techniques and alternative therapies
- Medications to control pain
Types of surgery for hip pain:
- Arthroscopy for the removal of loose pieces of bone and cartilage from the joint
- Osteotomy or repositioning of bones
- Joint resurfacing (smoothing out) bones
- Joint replacement
Joint replacement advances in recent years have included the ability, in some cases, to replace only the damaged part of the joint, leaving undamaged parts of the joint intact, and the ability to perform hip replacement through much smaller incisions than previously possible.
Is surgery right for my hip pain?
For many people, surgery helps relieve hip pain. The decision to use surgery depends on several factors. You and your doctor will discuss your age, level of disability, pain intensity and the degree to which arthritis interferes with your lifestyle. DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital’s orthopedic surgeons and nurses understand that you have a variety of goals for your surgery, including reducing pain, regaining mobility, improving quality of life and regaining the ability to participate in work and recreational activities. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.
For more information on treatment options for hip pain, or an appointment with a DMC Huron Valley- Sinai Hospital orthopedic surgeon, call 888-DMC-2500 or use our online physician directory.