With advanced age, osteoarthritis which is characterized by pain and jamming, and affecting daily life in adverse way, begins with mild pain in joints and may cause serious injuries unless it is treated. Osteoarthritis is caused by genetic factors, accident or injury, or repetitive movements of the joint. In hip osteoarthritis, the patient experiences stiffness, jamming, pain and sometimes swelling. Although it is seen in every joint, the most common one is hip osteoarthritis. As the cartilage in hip joint gets thin by times, bones rub to each other and hip osteoarthritis occurs.
What are the symptoms of Hip Osteoarthritis?
- Pain in hip, femur or inguinal,
- Restriction in hip movements,
- Difficulty in sitting, standing or bending,
- Voice of the joint during the movement,
- Increase in pain during walking or walking lame.
What are the causes of Hip Osteoarthritis?
With advanced age, joints are exposed to corrosion. Although one of the most important causes is age, it is not the only cause. Risk factors include genetic tendency, misuse of the joints, excess weight and heavy exercise.
- Familial factors (Genetic factors may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.)
- Misuse of the joints (Standing for a long time, bending often, lifting a heavy object, continuing to do the same movement after feeling pain…)
- Excess weight (Excess weight causes extra pressure on the joints, therefore osteoarthritis occurs.)
- Another important factor of osteoarthritis is adopting a lifestyle without movement.
How is Hip Osteoarthritis diagnosed?
It is possible to diagnose hip osteoarthritis at the moment the patient enters the clinic. Physical examination is performed after listening to the medical history of the patient.
X-ray is taken to determine if there is any deformation between the joints, to diagnose hip fractures or dislocation, to determine any deformation in the bones.
Computed tomography can be taken to get detailed information about the hip joint.
MRI can be performed to examine muscle and tendons around the muscles around the hip, joint surface of the bones and cartilage structure.
Blood tests can be carried out if it is doubted that hip pain is caused by infection or rheumatoid.
However, the first diagnosis method of hip osteoarthritis is x-ray imaging. Other methods are rarely applied.
Treatment of Hip Osteoarthritis
In osteoarthritis treatment, early diagnosis can stop the development of the disease and stop the pain. In advanced hip osteoarthritis, surgical intervention is required and generally hip replacement is applied. Hip replacement is a method applied for advanced osteoarthritis. For hip replacement operation, advanced disease is not the only criteria. Complaints of the patient should support surgery decision. If the pain decreases quality of life and it is so severe that the patient wakes up at night, hip replacement is applied. On the other hand, hip replacement is not the only surgical treatment for hip osteoarthritis. Especially, not-advanced osteoarthritis can be treated with closed surgery method called arthroscopy.
There are some treatment methods applied to reduce the symptoms in the early stage of the disease. The first phase of non-surgical treatment is life modification.
- First of all, exercises that do not get the joints tired should be done regularly.
- If the patient has excess weight, a suitable diet, and exercise should be applied to let the patient have proper weight.
- Orthopedic shoes suitable for body structure should be preferred.
- Prescribed medication should be used regularly.
In joint osteoarthritis cases, injection methods are effective to stop the pain, decrease complaints, stop or slows down osteoarthritis. Methods such as PRP, prolotherapy, ozone therapy, stem cell are beneficial when applied to suitable patients.
If osteoarthritis gets advanced and other treatment methods do not affect, surgical treatment is applied.
Hip replacement is carried out when the joint is severely deformed depending on hip dislocation, hip joint inflammation, and fracture or vascularization disorder. By creating an artificial hip joint, the patient can get back to daily activities.
Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery is started by reaching hip bone with an incision made on the hip under general or local anesthesia. Abraded cartilage tissue on the surface of the bones consisting of the joint is dissected and removed. Afterward, prosthesis pieces made from metal or plastic in suitable sizes are placed on both surfaces of the joint. The surgery takes 1 – 2 hours. After the operation, pain killer is administered to reduce the pain. Life of the places prosthesis is 20 – 25 years.
After hip replacement surgery, pain stops and the patient does not have difficulty while doing daily activities such as walking, taking ladder anymore. As life of the prosthesis is reduced due to sports requiring running, jumping, and heavy works, such activities are not suitable.
For more information, you can read hip replacement article.