Dr. Oluwaseun Akinbo: My hip hurts but Dr. Akinbo says it’s not my hip
“Hip pain” is one of the most common complaints seen by a joint replacement surgeon. There are many causes of hip pain but three diagnoses represent the most common causes of non-traumatic presentations for evaluation of hip pain. These three most common causes of hip pain are greater trochanteric pain syndrome, hip joint arthritis, and lumbar radiculopathy. This column will examine the second most common cause of non-traumatic hip pain. See last week’s column for the first cause.
Hip joint arthritis
Hip joint arthritis mainly manifests as groin pain. To a lesser extent, it can cause lateral hip pain or buttock pain. Pain from hip joint arthritis can be present at rest, but is more commonly present with walking or activities. Hip arthritis can develop from wear and tear of the hip. It can also develop from prior trauma, or inflammatory conditions of the hip joint. This pain can limit the ability to get around or be involved in daily activities. A history and physical examination can help with making a diagnosis. Hip x-rays can help with confirming a diagnosis. Sometimes when the symptoms and history are consistent with hip arthritis, the x-rays may only show mild arthritic changes. In these cases, a local anesthetic/cortisone injection to the hip joint could serve as an additional confirmatory procedure.
Initial treatment of hip joint arthritis is non-surgical. Non-surgical measures include anti-inflammatory medications, Tylenol, weight loss, physical therapy, home exercises, and cortisone injections. If no significant relief with non-surgical measures, surgical measures can be indicated. Surgical management for end-stage hip arthritis is mainly hip replacement surgery. This involves replacing the hip joint with metal, and plastic/ceramic components. Multiple approaches/techniques can be used to perform hip replacement surgery with good long-term results.
Dr. Oluwaseun Akinbo M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon at HaysMed. For more information, https://www.haysmed.com/oluwaseun-akinbo/.