Sometimes called “wear-and-tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis is a common condition that many people develop during middle age or older. In 2011, more than 28 million people in the United States were estimated to have osteoarthritis. It can occur in any joint in the body, but most often develops in weight-bearing joints, such as the hip. Osteoarthritis of the hip causes pain and stiffness. It can make it hard to do everyday activities like bending over to tie a shoe, rising from a chair, or taking a short walk. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many treatment options to help you manage pain and stay active.
In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the hip joint gradually wears away over time. As the cartilage wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protective joint space be-tween the bones decreases. This can result in bone rubbing on bone.
Osteoarthritis has no single specific cause, but there are certain factors that may make you more likely to develop the disease, including:
- Increasing age
- Family history of osteoarthritis
- Previous injury to the hip joint
- Improper formation of the hip joint at birth
The most common symptom of hip osteoarthritis is pain in the groin. Pain and stiffness may be worse in the morning, or after sitting or resting for a while.
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a number of treatment options that will help relieve pain and improve mobility. Initial treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip is nonsurgical. Your doctor may recommend a range of treatment options. Changes in your lifestyle and activity can protect your hip joint and slow the progress of osteoarthritis. Physical therapy can help increase range of motion and flexibility, as well as strengthen the muscles in your hip and leg. Using walking supports like a cane, crutches, or a walker can improve mobility and in-dependence. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include naproxen and ibuprofen. Other NSAIDs are available by prescription.
Your doctor may recommend surgery if your pain from arthritis causes disability and is not relieved with nonsurgical treatment.
The most common procedure for hip arthritis is a total hip replacement. This is one of the most common procedures in orthopedics and has some of the highest patient satisfaction scores of any procedure in medicine. In this surgery, your doctor will re-move both the damaged ball and socket, and then position new metal, plastic or ceramic joint surfaces to restore the function of your hip.