The hips play a role in most kinds of movement; so understandably, hip pain is one of the more common complaints heard by specialist in orthopedics James M. Lee, Jr, MD, in Orange, New Jersey. The pain that comes with hip problems is tricky because it can cause other parts of the body to hurt. It takes a skilled specialist like Dr. Lee to solve the mystery of hip pain.
The hips are prone to both injury and disease, so it might actually be a combination of problems causing the pain. Some possible culprits include:
Two of the more common issues that can cause hip pain are arthritis and sciatica.
Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint, but, when talking about the hips, there are different kinds of arthritis to consider such as:
The most likely candidate for older patients is osteoarthritis. This is a wearing down of the cartilage that protects the joint bones. Once that cartilage is gone, the bones rub together causing inflammation and pain.
Often patients with sciatica pain feel it in their hips. The sciatic nerve is the longest in the human body and it runs from the lower back down through the hips and buttocks to the leg on each side. Most people will feel sciatic pain in just one hip, and it may radiate down the leg on that side. Mild sciatica usually resolves with treatment in just a few weeks. Severe cases that affect mobility and bowel or bladder habits may require surgery.
Minor hip pain responds well to home care that includes:
Call Dr. Lee if your pain is persistent. He can develop a care plan that might include lifestyle changes like:
Seek emergency care if your hip pain is due to an accident or if the hip appears deformed in some way. The foot on the side with the pain may turn inward or outward if there is damage to the joint itself. Patients who cannot move their leg or hip require emergency care, as well, or if there is a sign of infection such as fever.
Hip replacements become necessary if there is damage to the joint due to trauma or diseases such as:
Dr. Lee will try conservative treatments to relieve the pain before choosing a surgical option in most cases, though.