Something as simple as getting in and out of a vehicle or walking up a flight of stairs can be a tedious and painful process for someone suffering from hip pain. As with other types of chronic pain, women tend to experience it more than men. Because hip pain can have a number of different causes, determining the correct one is the key to getting the best treatment.
Arthritis could be one of the main culprits of hip pain. Broken or dislocated hips are also the common result of falls, especially by people who have the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.
“Osteoarthritis may be to blame for the loss of mobility and chronic pain in the hip,” explains Dr. David Peterson, a hip replacement surgeon at Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute. “This is an age-related ‘wear and tear’ type of arthritis.”
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones of the hip wears away. The bones then rub against each other, causing hip pain and stiffness. It usually occurs in people 50 years of age and older and often in individuals that have a family history of arthritis.
“Aside from an actual hip injury that would create pain and cause damage, rheumatoid arthritis is another culprit behind severe hip pain,” says Dr. Peterson.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects the layer of tissue that surrounds the ball-and-socket joint of the hip. The tissue, called the synovial membrane, stops offering lubrication to the joint and becomes painfully inflamed. With constant inflammation, the cartilage between the bones will wear more rapidly.
“The hip utilizes one of the body’s largest joints,” says Dr. Peterson, who has performed many successful hip replacement surgeries. “When the ball-and-socket joint of the hip begin to fail, hip replacement may be the only alternative for find pain relief and to regain mobility.”
Dr. Peterson suggests that people suffering from the following symptoms schedule an appointment with him to discuss their pain relief options:
- Hip pain that limits everyday activities, such as walking or bending.
- Hip pain that continues while resting, either day or night.
- Stiffness in a hip that limits the ability to move or lift the leg.
- Inadequate pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or walking supports.
If you have a family history of osteoporosis, talk to your doctor about getting a bone density test. The treatment for people at risk for low bone density is vitamin D, calcium and other prescriptions that decrease bone loss. For those who develop arthritis, a hip replacement may be an option to restore activity and remove debilitating pain. Hip replacements have been successfully preformed on a wide range of patients, and there are no weight or age limitations for the surgery.
About David J. Peterson, D.O.
As a top orthopedic surgeon in eastern Idaho, Dr. Peterson specializes in arthritis and minimally invasive joint replacement for the hip and knee. He is board certified in orthopedics and fellowship-trained in total joint replacement. Dr. Peterson sees patients in Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello, and will discuss all available options to help patients find relief from their hip pain.
If you have questions about your hip health, or are ready to find relief from constant hip pain, call Dr. Peterson at 782-2999 to schedule an appointment today.
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