Degenerative Joint Disease – Osteoarthritis

Sometimes called degenerative joint disease-osteoarthritis is a common condition that many people develop during middle age or older. In 2011, more than 28 million people in the United States were estimated to have osteoarthritis. It can occur in any joint in the body, but most often develops in weight-bearing joints, such as the hip.

Osteoarthritis of the hip causes pain and stiffness. It can make it hard to do everyday activities like bending over to tie a shoe, rising from a chair, or taking a short walk.

Because osteoarthritis gradually worsens over time, the sooner you start treatment, the more likely it is that you can lessen its impact on your life. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many treatment options to help you manage pain and stay active.

 

Cause

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative type of arthritis that occurs most often in people 50 years of age and older, though it may occur in younger people, too.

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the hip joint gradually wears away over time. As the cartilage wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protective joint space between the bones decreases. This can result in bone rubbing on bone. To make up for the lost cartilage, the damaged bones may start to grow outward and form bone spurs (osteophytes).

Osteoarthritis develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time.

Osteoarthritis has no single specific cause, but there are certain factors that may make you more likely to develop the disease, including:

  • Increasing age
  • Family history of osteoarthritis
  • Previous injury to the hip joint
  • Obesity
  • Improper formation of the hip joint at birth, a condition known as developmental dysplasia of the hip

Even if you do not have any of the risk factors listed above, you can still develop osteoarthritis.

Conditions

  • Arthritis of the Hip
  • Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis)
  • Bursitis of the Hip
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Femur Shaft Fracture
  • Hip Fracture
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome
  • Gluteus Medius Tear
  • Inflammatory Arthritis of the Hip
  • Labral Tear of the Hip
  • Loose Bodies of the Hip
  • Muscle Strains of the Thigh
  • Snapping Hip
  • Strains of the Hip
  • Synovitis
  • Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip

Treatments

  • Bone Grafting of the Hip
  • Core Decompression of the Hip
  • Direct Anterior Hip Replacement
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement Surgery
  • Hip Arthroscopy
  • Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery
  • Posterior Total Hip Replacement – VERILAST
  • Revision Total Hip Replacement
  • Total Hip Replacement Surgery – VERILAST

Conservative Treatments

The Orthopedic physicians at Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic provide conservative treatment options for Hip conditions and injuries.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of hip osteoarthritis is pain around the hip joint. Usually, the pain develops slowly and worsens over time, although sudden onset is also possible. Pain and stiffness may be worse in the morning, or after sitting or resting for a while. Over time, painful symptoms may occur more frequently, including during rest or at night.

Additional symptoms may include:

  • Pain in your groin or thigh that radiates to your buttocks or your knee
  • Pain that flares up with vigorous activity
  • Stiffness in the hip joint that makes it difficult to walk or bend
  • “Locking” or “sticking” of the joint, and a grinding noise (crepitus) during movement caused by loose fragments of cartilage and other tissue interfering with the smooth motion of the hip
  • Decreased range of motion in the hip that affects the ability to walk and may cause a limp
  • Increased joint pain with rainy weather

Diagnosis

Physical Examination & Patient History

During your first visit, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and medical history. During the physical examination, your doctor will check all the structures of your injury, and compare them to your non-injured anatomy.  Most injuries can be diagnosed with a thorough physical examination.

Imaging Tests

Imaging Tests Other tests which may help your doctor confirm your diagnosis include:

X-rays. Although they will not show any injury, x-rays can show whether the injury is associated with a broken bone.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. If your injury requires an MRI, this study is utilized to create a better image of soft tissues injuries. However, an MRI may not be required for your particular injury circumstance and will be ordered based on a thorough examination by your Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic Orthopedic physician.

Non-Surgical

As with other arthritic conditions, early treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip is nonsurgical. Your doctor may recommend a range of treatment options.

Lifestyle Modifications

Some changes in your daily life can protect your hip joint and slow the progress of osteoarthritis.

  • Minimizing activities that aggravate the condition, such as climbing stairs.
  • Switching from high-impact activities (like jogging or tennis) to lower impact activities (like swimming or cycling) will put less stress on your hip.
  • Losing weight can reduce stress on the hip joint, resulting in less pain and increased function.

Physical Therapy

Specific exercises can help increase range of motion and flexibility, as well as strengthen the muscles in your hip and leg. Your doctor or physical therapist can help develop an individualized exercise program that meets your needs and lifestyle.

Assistive Devices

Using walking supports like a cane, crutches, or a walker can improve mobility and independence. Using assistive aids like a long-handled reacher to pick up low-lying things will help you avoid movements that may cause pain.

Medications

If your pain affects your daily routine, or is not relieved by other nonsurgical methods, your doctor may add medication to your treatment plan.

Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter pain reliever that can be effective in reducing mild arthritis pain. Like all medications, however, over-the-counter pain relievers can cause side effects and interact with other medications you are taking. Be sure to discuss potential side effects with your doctor.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include naproxen and ibuprofen. Other NSAIDs are available by prescription.

Corticosteroids (also known as cortisone) are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can be taken by mouth or injected into the painful joint.

Surgical

Your doctor may recommend surgery if your pain from arthritis causes disability and is not relieved with nonsurgical treatment.

Osteotomy

Either the head of the thighbone or the socket is cut and realigned to take pressure off of the hip joint. This procedure is used only rarely to treat osteoarthritis of the hip.

Hip Resurfacing

In this hip replacement procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage in the acetabulum (hip socket) is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The head of the femur, however, is not removed, but instead capped with a smooth metal covering.

Total Hip Replacement

Dr. Robert Detch, orthopedic surgeon at Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic will remove both the damaged acetabulum and femoral head, and then position new metal, plastic or ceramic joint surfaces to restore the function of your hip.

Conservative Treatment Options

  • Non-Operative Hip Injury Treatments

Treatment Highlights

VERILAST Hip Replacement Technology

Innovative Implant Design

Smith Nephew VERILAST hip replacement implant.

It’s important to remember that not every hip implant is the same. The Smith Nephew VERILAST Hip Technology is the one technology that directly addresses two of the most commonly cited concerns associated with hip replacement implants:

  • Implant Wear

  • Implant Fracture

Learn More

Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic

The Orthopaedic physicians at Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic provide comprehensive services to all members of the family.
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Disclaimer

The information found on this site is for general orthopedic purposes only. In a medical emergency please dial 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room.