How Arthritis In The Hips Is Diagnosed
The diagnosis of arthritis in the hips begins with taking your medical history and doing a physical exam of your hip. The doctor will look at where youre in pain and how well you can move the hip . Dr. Vigdorchik says he watches patients walk to assess their gait. If theyre tilting their body over the hip that hurts, thats the bodys response to making it hurt less, he says.
Your doctor will ask questions that can help make sure your pain is indeed coming from the hip and not due to a different problem. Other conditions like a hernia or a pinched nerve in the back can mimic pain from arthritis in the hip.
X-rays of the hips and spine can determine if the joint has any abnormalities and assess where your pain is coming from. They can reveal such changes indicative of arthritis, including:
- Thinning or erosion in the bones
- Loss of joint space
- Excess fluid in the joint
You may need other imaging, such as an MRI or a CT scan, to get a clearer picture if an X-ray doesnt show enough, says Dr. Vigdorchik.
If your doctor suspects that inflammatory arthritis could be responsible for your hip pain, they will order additional blood tests to check for levels of inflammation and the presence of antibodies that may indicate autoimmune disease .
Surgery For Hip Arthritis
The progression of hip arthritis and effectiveness of various nonsurgical treatments varies. If nonsurgical options dont provide the desired pain relief and your quality of life suffers, it may be time to consider surgical options, such as:
- Hip replacement surgery, or hip arthroplasty, is a procedure to replace one or both ends of a damaged hip joint with artificial implants.
- Hip fusion is a procedure to fuse the bones of the hip joint together. It used to be the standard surgical treatment for hip arthritis before replacement surgeries became available, but is now a last-resort treatment as it severely impacts mobility.
Treating Hip Osteoarthritis Without Surgery
EducationA physician, physical therapist, or allied health care provider can provide information regarding the diagnosis, prognosis, and the risks and benefits of treatment options. This information can help a person make informed health care decisions that are based on his or her personal preferences, values, and lifestyle.
Physical activityCommitting to an exercise routine often decreases pain and increases function of an osteoarthritic joint. It also promotes a healthy lifestyle and decreases the risk of developing other conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. The goals of physical activity include increasing muscle strength and aerobic capacity.
Activity modificationWork or recreational activities that aggravate hip arthritis pain may need to be modified. For example:
- A person who does heavy manual labor may be advised to adopt new lifting mechanics or to cut back on work hours, if possible.
- A golfer may be advised to make swing adjustments to minimize the effects of twisting the torso, or to play 9 holes instead of 18.
Some people may decide to change jobs or take up alternative activities that exert less stress on the hip joint.
A physical therapist or other healthcare professional who provides physical therapy may:
The goal of physical therapy is to improve quality of life by reducing strain on the hip.
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Comprehensive Hip Arthritis Treatment In North Dakota
At The Bone & Joint Center, our caring and highly-skilled orthopedic surgeons specializing in treating hip arthritis will can track how much your arthritis has progressed and recommend the best suitable treatment options to enhance your life.
To schedule an appointment, please call The Bone & Joint Center at 946-7400 or 900-8650 or submit a request now. Our friendly staff looks forward to seeing you in one of our 9 convenient locations in North Dakota.
Basics Of Hip Arthritis
Many kinds of arthritis can affect the hip joint. The most common type of hip arthritis is osteoarthritis, which some people call “degenerative joint disease.”
Osteoarthritis occurs when the joint surface cartilage becomes worn away leaving the raw bone beneath exposed. The cartilage normally serves as a pad or a bearing in the joint. Under normal conditions, the cartilage bearing is slicker than a hockey puck on ice. When the bearing wears away, the result is a roughed joint surface that causes the pain and stiffness that people associate with osteoarthritis .
Osteoarthritis of the hip is a serious condition. Osteoarthritis is the most common of the more than 100 kinds of arthritis and the hip joint is the second most commonly affected large joint in the body.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that can takes months to years to appear. While it is not curable, it most certainly is treatable using activity modifications, medications, and/or injections. If those interventions dont work, hip replacement surgery often will relieve the pain associated with hip arthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the hip results in pain, stiffness, and joint deformity. The symptoms of osteoarthritis can affect ones ability to walk, work, and enjoy life.
For most patients who have mild arthritis, pain can be managed with ice, rest, activity modifications, pills, or joint injections.
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How Do I Know If Its Psoriatic Arthritis
Diagnosing hip PsA may be challenging at first. This is because joint pain and swelling arent unique to PsA. These symptoms may also be seen in rheumatoid arthritis , lupus, osteoarthritis , ankylosing spondylitis, and conditions with inflammatory arthritis.
While you shouldnt self-diagnose PsA of the hip, there are some key signs that differentiate this condition from other types of arthritis. For example, hip PsA may cause pain around the buttocks, groin, and outer thigh, while hip OA primarily affects the groin and the frontof the thigh.
Other conditions that can lead to hip pain may include muscle strains and stress fractures. A dislocated hip may occur from a recent accident or injury.
A doctor can help you determine whether your hip pain is attributed to PsA, another autoimmune disease, or a different condition entirely. They may also refer you to a rheumatologist, a specialist trained in diagnosing and treating autoimmune diseases of the joints, bones, and muscles.
While theres no single test to diagnose PsA, a healthcare professional may help identify this condition based on the following criteria:
- your personal health history, including any infections or injuries
- symptoms of psoriasis and/or PsA
- a family history of psoriasis, PsA, or any other autoimmune conditions
- imaging tests, such as ultrasounds or MRIs
- blood tests to rule out other conditions
Alternative Remedies And Treatments
Nutritional supplementation is helpful to some patients though the science on this is not entirely supportive of their effectiveness.
There are some studies to suggest that acupuncture can decrease the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip.
Although there is little hard science on this point, most hip surgeons and rheumatologists believe that patients with osteoarthritis of the hip should consider avoiding impact sports such as running in order to avoid increasing the rate at which the disease progresses.
It is important that patients with osteoarthritis of the hip avoid decreasing their activity level and it is important that they remain fit. However this often does require some modification of exercise programs running and walking programs are usually poorly tolerated by patients with osteoarthritis of the hip. Stationary bike, swimming and water aerobics usually are well-tolerated and they are recommended.
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How Is Hip Arthritis Diagnosed
Your doctor may use the following diagnostic tools to determine if you have hip arthritis:
- Medical history and physical examination
- Blood tests for genetic markers and/or RA antibodies
- X-rays to determine cartilage loss
You cant see cartilage on X-ray, but you can see the space between the bones of the hip joint. If its narrowing, this could mean that cartilage has been lost. X-rays also show bone spurs and cysts, which develop due to osteoarthritis. MRI of the hip is usually not needed to diagnose arthritis.
Warm Or Ice Hip Joints
People living with rheumatoid arthritis frequently use temperature, or hot and cold therapy, to soothe achy joints. Indeed, this is one of the most widespread coping methods, according to a study published online in the Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy in January 2017.
Whether people use heat or cold is largely a personal preference, the study found, although in general, heat was selected for everyday aches while cold was favored for acute flares. One study participant marveled at how he never walked so many stairs as he did while visiting a warm, southern location.
The decision whether to use heat or ice for chronic pain should be based on listening to your body, says Carrie Janiski, DO, a family, sports, and neuromuscular skeletal medicine physician in Turlock, California. If ice feels good, use it if heat feels better then stick with that, she says.
Alas, the benefits of either heat or ice do appear to be fleeting. A randomized clinical trial of of 96 people with knee arthritis published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing in September 2017 found mild improvements in pain, functional status, and quality of life in those employing the three-week regimen of twice daily application of either heat or cold, but it was not significantly different from the standard-treatment control group.
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Medical Treatment For Osteoarthritis Of The Hip
If joint damage caused by osteoarthritis of the hip is mild, arthritis specialists at NYU Langone can recommend effective ways to alleviate symptoms, slow the progression of the disease, and protect the hip joint from further damage. These treatments also help to relieve pain and stiffness, making walking and other movements easier.
Psoriatic Arthritis Of The Hip
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that can develop in people with psoriasis, an autoimmune skin condition that can also cause inflammation in the joints, including the hip. Over time, untreated inflammation can lead to joint damage. Psoriatic arthritis of the hip is a chronic condition. It can develop before or after the telltale skin symptoms of psoriasis develop.
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Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Some people with osteoarthritis try complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy and find them helpful.
However, there’s a lack of medical evidence to suggest they’re effective and they generally are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .
How Does Arthritis Affect The Hips
The hip is commonly affected by arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis . You may notice pain in your hip, groin, buttock and/or thigh areas, felt as sharp pain or an ache. It is often most noticeably when you walk, climb stairs, stand up from a seated position, squat and/or first get out of bed in the morning.
There are many things that can help you manage arthritis of the hip. The first steps are regular exercise, weight loss and using medicines wisely
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Medications To Treat Hip Pain
What you need to know about the many medications used for hip arthritis and related problems.
Medications to ease pain and inflammation, slow bone loss, slow the disease progress or prevent joint damage are important in treating many hip problems. The types of medications commonly used in treating arthritis and related conditions affecting hips are:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Including more than a dozen different drugs, some of which are available without a prescription, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to help ease arthritis pain and inflammation. They are used for all forms of arthritis and other painful hip conditions. Most NSAIDs are taken orally, but topical preparations are available, such as Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel and Pennsaid.
Corticosteroids. These quick-acting drugs, similar to the cortisone produced naturally by the body, are used to control inflammation. If hip inflammation is due to a systemic autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or polymyalgia rheumatica, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids. If inflammation is limited to your hip or an inflamed bursa, a corticosteroid injection directly into the inflamed joint or bursa might help.
Pagets Disease Of Bone
Pagets disease affects the way bone develops and renews itself, causing it to become weaker. It usually affects the pelvis, causing it to grow out of shape. This can often lead to hip pain, but it is treatable with a group of drugs called bisphosphonates.
Bisphosphonates are drugs used to prevent the loss of bone mass and treat bone disorders such as osteoporosis and Pagets disease.
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Hip Arthritis Treatment Begins With Conservative Care
Studies show that one in four people will develop hip arthritis over the course of their adult life. Many factors play a role in the onset of hip arthritis, including genetics, advancing age, gender, excessive weight, losses in bone density, previous repetitive use or traumatic hip injury, muscle weakness, and joint laxity. Although joint replacement is called for in the most severe cases, hip arthritis treatment includes non-surgical options as well.
When To Contact A Doctor
People can speak with a doctor if they have unexplained hip pain or any other symptoms of RA. An early and accurate diagnosis can help in providing effective treatment for the condition.
A doctor may refer people to a rheumatologist, who is a doctor specializing in inflammatory conditions developing in the joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis Of The Hip
If you have any of the following symptoms of hip osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor:
- Joint stiffness that occurs as you are getting out of bed
- Joint stiffness after you sit for a long time
- Any pain, swelling, or tenderness in the hip joint
- A sound or feeling of bone rubbing against bone
- Inability to move the hip to perform routine activities such as putting on your socks
What Is Osteoarthritis
Arthritis means “joint inflammation.” It causes pain and swelling in the body’s joints, such as the knees or hips. There are many types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common. Also known as degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis, osteoarthritis is more likely to develop as people get older.
Osteoarthritis occurs when inflammation and injury to a joint cause a breaking down of cartilage tissue. In turn, that breakdown causes pain, swelling, and deformity. Cartilage is a firm, rubbery material that covers the ends of bones in normal joints. It is primarily made up of water and proteins. The primary function of cartilage is to reduce friction in the joints and serve as a “shock absorber.” The shock-absorbing quality of normal cartilage comes from its ability to change shape when compressed. It can do this because of its high water content. Although cartilage may undergo some repair when damaged, the body does not grow new cartilage after it is injured.
The changes in osteoarthritis usually occur slowly over many years. There are, though, occasional exceptions.
The two main types of osteoarthritis are:
- Primary: More generalized osteoarthritis that affects the fingers, thumbs, spine, hips, and knees
- Secondary: Osteoarthritis that occurs after injury or inflammation in a joint, or as a result of another condition that may affect the composition of the cartilage, such as hemochromatosis
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When To See A Doctor
Most of the time you can treat your hip pain yourself with simple self-help treatments. If your pain is extremely bad or hasnt improved after two weeks of regularly taking painkillers, you should see your doctor.
You should see your doctor straight away if:
- youve had a fall or injured your hip
- the pain is getting worse
- youre having difficulty with daily activities, for example walking, going up stairs or leaning forwards when sitting
- you feel feverish or unwell, or youve been losing weight.
Stretch And Loosen Hips With Plis
Stretching and strengthening the quadriceps and gluteus muscles in the legs and buttocks frees up the surrounding joints that may otherwise be constrained, says Miranda Esmonde-White, the author of the books Forever Painless and Aging Backwards and the long-standing host of the PBS exercise show Classical Stretch.
To do her tai chi plié with hip swing , follow these steps:
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Other Causes Of Groin Pain
Groin pain is very commonly caused by problems with the hip. However, it can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as:
- a hernia a painful lump, often in the groin, which may need surgery
- lymph nodes in the groin these usually occur if theres infection in the lower leg
- gynaecological problems, which can occasionally be felt as hip pain.
We’re currently funding research into developing new techniques to measure hip shape and abnormalities in babies and children.
Children with hip problems are more likely to develop osteoarthritis and to need hip replacement surgeries as young adults. This study will develop a tool to identify children who would most benefit from treatment as early as possible, reducing long-term pain and disability.
Researchers at our Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis are also studying the reasons why hip pain is commonly seen in young footballers.
We’re also funding research looking into whether it is possible to predict the success of joint replacement surgery by looking at genetic risk factors.
This study will help doctors understand which patients are most likely to have good outcomes from joint replacement. It aims to improve patients experiences of surgery and make their new joints last longer.
Our researchers are also developing a tool to help patients make informed decisions about their treatment according to their lifestyle and needs.