man gripping hipMillions of people are affected by hip pain, but with the latest advances in medical technology, you may no longer need to suffer the conditions caused by hip pain. Whether your hip pain is a result from injury or aging, there are a few things to know about hip pain and what you can do to relieve the issues you may be experiencing.

Causes of Hip Pain

When we experience hip pain, it may be a variety of issues. From inflammation of the joint to wearing of the cartilage between bones, hip pain can be a complicated diagnosis to make.

Sometimes the source of hip pain is found outside of the problem joint entirely, and in some cases the most effective treatments are also the least invasive. A few examples of these outside-the-joint (extra-articular) causes include trochanteric bursitis, which is inflammation of the sac of cushioning fluid between the knob (trochanter) on the top of the femur bone opposite of its ball joint and the muscles of the thigh and buttocks; internal snapping hip syndrome, which is often a snapping of a tendon over a particular groove in the pelvis; external snapping hip syndrome, which is a similar snapping or clicking sound when a tendon catches on the same femur knob (trochanter) at issue in trochanteric bursitis; and a sports hernia, which is a strain or tear of a muscle, tendon, or ligament in the lower abdomen or groin area due to sharp twisting and frequent movement that are often inherent in sporting activities.

For internal snapping hip syndrome, pain accompanies any flexing or extension of the hip flexor tendon in the groin area, and rotational movements of the hip can often reproduce symptoms of the problem. A common treatment to resolve internal snapping hip syndrome is taking conservative care measures like physical therapy, medication, or injections.

For trochanteric bursitis, pain typically focuses on the side of the hip, which can feel tender to the touch and may prevent the patient from laying down on the affected side of their body. Pain also accompanies rotational movements of the hip. Both trochanteric bursitis and external snapping hip syndrome usually respond to conservative therapies as well.

However, if hip pain and swelling stem from more serious joint inflammation, also known as arthritis, a patient’s options for treatment become more limited.

Arthroscopic Surgery for Hip Pain

One of the leading treatments for serious hip pain that has developed over the years, alongside vast improvements in medical technology, is arthroscopic hip surgery.

New treatments with arthroscopic surgery involve just a small incision for the insertion of an arthroscope, which inspects the problem joint and more precisely locates the source of the pain. From there, one or more other small incisions can be made to shave, trim, cut, stitch, or smooth damaged areas of the hip. This advanced surgical technique is often scheduled at an outpatient surgery center, and the good news for patients is that an overnight stay is not always required after the procedure.

Total Hip Replacement for Hip Pain

Total hip replacement procedures have become an increasingly popular option to relieve the symptoms of hip pain. In 2012, more than 300,000 cases of total hip replacements were performed in the United States, and that trend is projected to steadily increase as the Baby Boomer generation ages and experiences the gradual joint deterioration that leads to an arthritic hip. Fortunately, modern total hip replacement operations enjoy a success rate of 96 percent to 98 percent “very good” to “excellent” regardless of whichever of the many approaches are decided on.

The ultimate goal of total hip replacement is to decrease that hip pain and facilitate better movement of the patient’s body in order to allow them to resume the daily activities they know and enjoy and thus improve their quality of life.

The total hip replacement operation itself is a surgical procedure whereby both the hip’s ball (femoral head) and socket (acetabulum) are replaced. There are varying surgical approaches to this replacement procedure, and each one has its own advantages. Likewise, each surgeon has his or her own preferences for the procedure. Additionally, there are a range of “hardware” or component parts available to choose from.

Of the major surgical approaches to total hip replacement, both anterior and posterior approaches yield more similarities than differences. Both require anesthesia and blocks, and they both follow the same protocols of intravenous antibiotics, tranexamic fluid and local injections; the same day-of-surgery mobilization; the same prevention against the risk of blood clots in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis); maintain the same weight-bearing status; pose the same risk of infection; face the same loosening or wear of implants over time; and achieve the same high-percentage results.

Hip pain treatment options at Tri-City Medical Center

The orthopedic physicians at Tri-City Medical Center can provide patients with the specific and quality care needed to alleviate hip pain. Whether you need a hip replacement, hip arthroscopy, or are experiencing hip dysplasia, see what our doctors can do for you. Contact our Orthopaedic & Spine Institute by calling 760-940-3000 today.