CONDITIONS

HIP

ARTHRITIS OF THE HIP

OVERVIEW

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joint due to a break down of the cartilage in the joint. Without cartilage the bones of the hip joint grind over one another causing pain, swelling and deformity. While there are many types of arthritis, the most common is age-related osteoarthritis, otherwise known as degenerative joint disease.

CAUSE

The causes of osteoarthritis of the hip are not known, but it does seem to develop slowly over the years and is thus known to be age-related. Being overweight and having a joint injury or putting stress on the joint seems to also be contributing factors to the development of arthritis in the hip.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms will develop over time and may include:

  • A dull ache or a shooting pain in the hip, groin, thigh or buttocks
  • Difficulty walking
  • Pain after walking or sitting for a long period

TREATMENT

Treatment of hip arthritis is generally dependant on your overall health and age. Non-surgical treatment of arthritis in the hip may include pain and anti-inflammatory medications and lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, pain management and strength-building exercise. Injections to block the inflammation of the joint and physical therapy may also be beneficial. 

For those who continue to experience disabling pain despite these treatments, surgery may be an option. For suitable candidates, surgery may be done to improve mobility and reduce pain for a better quality of life.

Total hip replacement involves the replacement of the damaged hip with a prosthesis of metal, ceramic and/or plastic components. This can either be done via a posterior or anterior approach. Dr Pienaar has a keen interest in minimally invasive anterior hip surgery.

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