The diagram to the right shows a comparison of a normal, healthy hip joint and an arthritic hip joint.
The hip is a ball-and-socket-joint: the femoral head forms the ball and the acetabulum, which is part of the pelvic bone, forms the socket. The labrum of the hip is a cuff of thick fibrocartilage tissue that surrounds the acetabulum. The labrum helps to support the hip joint and provide stability. Surrounding the hip joint are ligaments, tendons, and muscles that control the movement of the hip. Just like every other joint, the hip(s) can develop arthritis.
Two types of arthritis can affect the the hip(s):
- Osteoarthritis (OA): also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, OA is a condition that can destroy the cartilage covering the bones, allowing the bones of the hip joint to rub against each other resulting in pain. OA usually affects individuals over the age of 50 or those with a history of damage to the hip cartilage.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): RA is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks normal tissues in the joints such as the lining of the joints, cartilage, and bone. RA is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis, usually affecting both sides of the body equally. RA causes pain and swelling of joints and can affect patients of any age.
- Loss of range of motion
- Pain in the groin, outer thigh, or buttocks
- Dull, achy pain that is worse in the morning
- Pain with:
- Getting into and out of the car
- Going from a sitting to stand position
- Sleeping on the affected side
- Twisting and turning motions
- Crossing legs while sitting
- Daily activity
If your symptoms last longer than 2 weeks and interfere with daily activity you should consult your primary care physician for a referral.
What To Expect During Your Appointment:
During your appointment, Dr. Betz will perform a physical exam to test range of motion in the hip and the leg strength. In-office imaging may be done or an MRI may be set up to diagnose the cause of your pain. Once the results of your imaging come back, Dr. Betz will provide treatment options and help you decide the course of action that is best for you.
Dr. Betz performs an in-office exam on the patient to assess arthritis in the hip joint.
- Medication: non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are often prescribed to minimize swelling and pain.
- Physical Therapy: strengthening the upper leg will help relieve pain. Stretching is also performed to help regain mobility.
- Injections: If the other non-surgical treatments fail, Dr. Betz can use injections to help reduce pain.
- Steroid Injection (Cortisone): steroids are proven to be very effective at reducing inflammation and pain when injected directly into the joint space.
If non-surgical treatment fails to improve pain, Dr. Betz may discuss surgery as an option. Each patient and case is different so surgical plans vary greatly depending on the patient’s needs and stage of arthritis.
For postoperative patients: