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Hip Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Arthritis of the Hip)

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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.

How Can Osteoarthritis of the Hip Be Prevented?

One method for preventing osteoarthritis of the hip is to maintain a healthy weight. 

In addition, you should exercise. Exercise strengthens muscles around joints. Such strengthening can help prevent wear and tear on cartilage in a joint. Your health care provider may be able to offer additional suggestions to minimize your risk for hip osteoarthritis.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 23, 2014
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