Arthritis is a common chronic condition. Although there are hundreds of types of arthritis, the most common is osteoarthritis. More than 50 million American adults have some form of arthritis.
The term arthritis means "inflammation of the joint." Different types of arthritis lead to inflammation of the joint by different means.
Osteoarthritis, for example, occurs from gradual wear-and-tear on the joints over time and usually affects people over age 60. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can affect people of all ages.
Arthritis can affect any joint in your body, but the most common joints affected are the hips and knees. In fact, arthritis is the most common cause of hip pain.
At Orange Orthopaedic Associates, our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, James M. Lee Jr., MD, shares this information about the hip's anatomy and how arthritis affects it.
Why the hip is a complex body part
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint, as is the shoulder. The thigh bone has a ball-shaped bone at the end, which fits into the curved hip socket, formed by part of the pelvic bone.
A slippery tissue called cartilage lines the ball-and-socket joint. Cartilage helps the ball and socket glide easily as your body moves.
If this cartilage starts to wear away because of arthritis, the two bones rub against each other, causing pain and irritation. Over time, this grinding can lead to permanent joint damage.
Hip arthritis symptoms
What happens when your thigh and pelvic bone rub together? You can experience pain when you bend over, when you walk, and when you sit. In other words, it can greatly affect your mobility and quality of life.
Unfortunately, arthritis is a chronic condition. It can affect all parts of your lower body. There are ways to treat and manage it, but you can't eliminate it. Other hip arthritis symptoms include:
- Pain in the groin, buttocks, or outer thigh
- Pain that radiates down your leg
- Hip stiffness or limited range of motion
- Pain that worsens with robust activity
- Pain that's worse in the morning but eases up as the day goes on
You may experience arthritis flares, followed by a period of no symptoms. Or you may experience consistent symptoms.
Arthritis treatment options
The first line of treatment options consists of nonsurgical recommendations to help treat the pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility. We may also suggest lifestyle changes such as losing weight and modifying activities. Nonsurgical treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Corticosteroid injections
- Analgesics, such as acetaminophen for pain
- Prescription medications such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Heat and ice
If nonsurgical treatments don't provide enough relief, we may recommend total hip replacement surgery. Hip replacement surgery can help you return to doing the activities you love without pain.
Do you have hip pain? Call us at Orange Orthopaedic Associates with clinics in West Orange and Bayonne, New Jersey, to make an appointment with Dr. Lee for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan. You can also book an appointment online through this website.