The hip is a “ball-and-socket” joint where the “ball” at the top of the thigh bone (femur) fits inside the “socket” of the pelvis (acetabulum). A natural substance in the body called cartilage lubricates the joint. When the bone and/or cartilage of the hip becomes diseased or damaged, the joint can stiffen and be very painful.
Total Hip Replacement
Hip replacement is usually a last resort treatment for patients with severe hip pain whose daily lives are affected by the pain, including those with arthritis, fractures, bone death or other conditions. In this procedure, the diseased bone and cartilage are replaced with a metal ball and plastic cup.
The artificial joint, called a prosthesis, may be cemented in place, maybe cementless, or maybe a hybrid of both. The prosthetic devices provide pain relief and restored function for 25 years or longer in most cases.
Most patients who undergo hip surgery achieve successful relief from their condition, including pain relief, restored function and an improvement to their overall quality of life. There are certain risks associated with hip procedures, including infection, nerve damage, blood clots and reactions to anesthesia, but these risks are considered rare and can be further reduced by choosing an experienced and skilled surgeon.
Your doctor will decide which procedure is best for you based on a thorough evaluation of your condition and medical history. It is important to discuss the details of your procedure with your doctor in order to achieve the best results.
A hip fracture involves a break in the top of the femur when the bone angles toward the hip joint. Hip fractures are especially common in older patients and those with osteoporosis. They are usually extremely painful and require surgical repair to relieve pain and restore proper functioning.
During hip fracture surgery, an incision is made over the affected area and the bones are aligned back in place. The bones are often held in place with metal pins, screws, rods or plates while they heal, which may or may not be removed later on. The incision is then closed with sutures or staples. This procedure usually takes two to four hours to perform.
Bursitis is the painful swelling of the bursae, fluid-filled sacs on the cushion areas where tendons and muscles slide across bone. Specific to the hip is trochanteric bursitis (also known as greater trochanteric pain syndrome or GTPS), which refers to the bursa by the head of the femur. This shock absorbing sac can become agitated and swollen for unknown reasons or as a symptom of other issues such as gluteal tendon infections, uneven leg length or Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Steps can be taken to prevent bursitis by strengthening the core and hips through a moderate training program. Orthotic inserts for people with flat feet can also help.
The condition can be treated by:
- NSAIDs or steroids to reduce swelling
- Physical therapy
- Surgical removal of the bursa (bursectomy)
Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the Hip
Avascular Necrosis (AVN) is a disease resulting from the temporary or permanent loss of blood flow to the bone. This can lead to the destruction of the bone and severe reduction in functionality of the joint. AVN is especially common in the hip and can be treated several ways:
- Total Hip Replacement
- Metal On Metal Resurfacing
- Core Decompression
- Free Vascular Fibular Graft
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the Hip
Osteoarthritis (OA), or “wear and tear” arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage cushioning the joint slowly wears away. The bone ends then rub together whenever the joint moves, and the fluid-filled capsule enclosing the joint (the synovium) becomes inflamed. The bone ends may thicken to compensate for the increased friction, and bone spurs may form at the edges of the joint.
At first, discomfort and stiffness are mild and can be relieved with rest. Then, as OA progresses, the joint becomes increasingly stiff and inflamed, difficult to move, and very painful even when at rest.
OA frequently affects weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees and spine. Although it can occur to anyone at any age, OA most often affects the elderly, particularly women. Risk factors include obesity, a family history of the disease, previous injury or infection in the joint, and an injury that puts increased pressure on the joint.
While many hip conditions can be treated through conservative methods, surgery is often needed because of the excessive weight placed on the joint while walking, standing and performing other regular activities.
To learn more about our Hip Procedures & Treatments, please contact us at (504) 349-6804 today to schedule an appointment.