Many people experience hip pain at some point in their lives. Hip pain has a variety of causes, and it’s important to get to the bottom of your pain in order to receive the most effective hip pain treatment. Sometimes, a hip problem can manifest as thigh or even back pain. Parkview Ortho Hospital has hip specialists and surgeons who are leaders in their field, offering a wide range of minimally invasive services.
Anatomy of the hip
The hip is one of the largest joints. It is a ball-and-socket joint that allows the leg to move in a variety of positions. The femoral head (ball) rides in the acetabulum (socket). The hip joint is linedwith a lubricating tissue called cartilage, which cushions the joint as it moves and bears weight.
A hip joint consists of several components:
Cartilage is tissue that covers the surface of bones at a joint. It helps reduce the friction of movement within a joint.
Synovial membrane is tissue that lines the joint and seals it into a joint capsule. It helps keep your joints lubricated.
Ligaments are a type of tough, connective tissue that surrounds joints to give them support and limit movements.
Tendons are another type of tough tissue that connects muscles to bones. They also help control joint movements.
Bursa is a fluid-filled sac located between bones, ligaments or other adjacent structures. It helps cushion joints.
The femur is the thighbone, or upper leg bone.
The acetabulum is a socket or cup-like structure that holds the femur head.
Common causes of hip pain
The most common cause of hip pain and disability is arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis are the most common forms of the disease.
Other common causes of hip pain include:
Avascular necrosis. An injury to the hip, such as a dislocation or fracture, may limit the blood supply to the femoral head. This is called avascular necrosis. The lack of blood may cause the surface of the bone to collapse, and arthritis will result. Some diseases can also cause avascular necrosis.
Childhood hip disease. Some infants and children have hip problems. Even though the problem are successfully treated during childhood, they may still cause arthritis later on in life. This happens because the hip may not grow normally, and the joint surfaces are affected.
A number of treatment options are available to help relieve hip problems:
Nerve block injections
Surgical repair options
The decision to pursue a surgical repair option – as well as determining what option is best for you – should be a collaborative one among you, your family, your primary care physician and your orthopedic surgeon.
Common surgical repair options include:
Arthroscopic hip surgery
When you need surgery to treat ligament tears, tendon damage or other joint injuries in your hip, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure. During this procedure, your surgeon will make a few tiny incisions in the skin around your hip. He will then slip a pencil-thin surgical instrument through the incisions to perform your surgery.
An arthroscope (miniature video camera) transmits high-quality images of your joint onto a television screen that your surgical team monitors throughout your surgery. This helps ensure you get timely, appropriate care.
Because your surgical incisions are very small, you’ll likely notice less pain and scarring after your arthroscopic hip surgery. You’ll also likely return home the day of surgery, and recovery takes anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on your overall health.
Anterior hip replacement surgery
This technique allows your orthopedic surgeon to approach from the anterior (front) of the hip where the hip joint can be exposed under direct vision. Click here to learn more about this surgical repair option.
Total hip replacement surgery
Total hip replacement can be an extremely successful surgical procedure. Total hip replacement, also called arthroplasty, involves removing the damaged bone and cartilage and resurfacing it with orthopedic implants. The goal of this surgery is to relieve pain that cannot be controlled by other treatments.
During total hip replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will make a small incision – about 1.5 to 2 inches – in the skin over your hip joint. He will then remove the damaged parts of your hip, and replace them with the synthetic implants. The implants are made of a stem that goes into the femur, the ball that fits into the stem, and a cup that is inserted into the socket of the hip joint. Finally, your surgeon will close your incision and apply a sterile bandage or dressing.