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Hip Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Arthritis of the Hip)

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What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis of the Hip?

If you have any of the following symptoms of hip osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor:

  • Joint stiffness that occurs as you are getting out of bed
  • Joint stiffness after you sit for a long time
  • Any pain, swelling, or tenderness in the hip joint
  • A sound or feeling ("crunching") of bone rubbing against bone
  • Inability to move the hip to perform routine activities such as putting on your socks

How Is Osteoarthritis of the Hip Diagnosed?

There is no single test for diagnosing osteoarthritis, but often it is diagnosed by an abnormal X-ray that shows characteristic features such as narrowing of the joint and spurring of the joint margins. Your doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical examination. This will include a check of how your hip is functioning and may uncover loss of motion.

 

How Is Osteoarthritis of the Hip Treated?

The main goal of treating osteoarthritis of the hip is to improve the person's mobility (ability to get around) and lifestyle. Part of this goal involves improving the function of the hip and controlling pain. Treatment plans can involve:

  • Rest and joint care
  • Use of a cane to take weight off the affected hip
  • Nondrug pain relief techniques to control pain
  • Losing excess weight
  • Exercise
  • Medications, including acetaminophen (Tylenol), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen (Advil), or a prescription pain medication
  • Surgery
  • Complementary and alternative therapies

What Is Hip Replacement Surgery?

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket mechanism. The ball is located at the top of the thigh bone (femur). Total hip replacement surgery replaces the damaged ball with a metal ball. The hip socket is resurfaced using a metal shell and a plastic liner.

What Is Hip Resurfacing?

Hip resurfacing is a surgical option that can provide relief while delaying hip replacement surgery. In hip resurfacing, the diseased hip joint surfaces are removed surgically and substituted with metal. However, the entire femur bone is preserved. That makes future hip replacement surgeries possible. Rather than removing the ball of the hip socket, the surgeon covers it with a metal cap.

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