Arthritis is currently the #1 cause of disability in the US negatively impacting the lives of more than 50 million Americans. May has been designated Arthritis Awareness Month to help spread awareness about treatments available today that may improve the condition of those who suffer with this disease.
Arthritis is a very broad term encompassing of a group of more than 100 inflammatory conditions of the bones and joints. Well known types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (aka wear-and-tear arthritis), rheumatoid arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, and psoriatic arthritis. Treatment for arthritis will vary depending on the type and severity of the arthritis.
While there is no “cure” for hip arthritis, symptoms can certainly be managed to significantly improve quality of life.
Here are 7 treatments for hip arthritis:
1. Medications: The various types of medications include analgesics for pain, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories) to reduce swelling & pain, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and biologic response modifiers. Of note, all medications should only be used as recommended by your doctor.
2. Hip Injections: These include hyaluronic acid injections to lubricate the hip joint, steroid injections to reduce inflammation, and PRP injections to stimulate regeneration of damaged tissue.
3. Hot and Cold Therapy: Application of heat in the form of a hot compress to a stiff hip will help loosen the joint and ice packs may be applied to reduce swelling and inflammation after exertion or an arthritic flareup.
4. Physical Therapy: Exercises to improve range of motion and strength can be very effective in treating some forms of arthritis. The key is to be consistent with your exercise routine without overexerting yourself.
5. Assistive Devices: Walking aids and other assistive devices such as braces will help take the pressure off your hip. They can be used to slow the progression of arthritis and maintain independence.
6. Hip Arthroscopy: Repair of torn hip ligaments, tendons, and cartilage as well as removal of loose bodies may be done through tiny puncture incisions to alleviate symptoms and improve hip function. American Hip Institute surgeons are pioneers in the use of hip arthroscopy to treat a variety of hip problems.
7. Joint Replacement: This option is reserved for severe arthritis that interferes with activities of daily living. At the American Hip Institute, total hip replacement can be performed minimally invasive through a single 4 to 6-inch incision with minimum damage to surrounding healthy tissue and without cutting any of the hip muscles.
If you have hip pain that does not seem to be getting better with rest or other conservative treatment, you should visit your doctor or an orthopedic specialist. Identifying and treating arthritis symptoms at an early stage will improve the odds of outcome.
Dr. Ajay C. Lall is a dual fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and hip arthroscopy. He is an avid clinical researcher with numerous presentations and publications at international academic meetings and within top peer-reviewed journals. The doctors at the American Hip Institute® have been global leaders in Hip Arthroscopy and Robotic Surgery for over a decade. While some would call this excellence, we simply call it the American Hip Institute standard.