Mention the word arthritis and most people think of the painful disease that affects your knees and hands. These are common places for arthritis to occur. But your hips can be affected too. Understanding how hip arthritis happens and the types of arthritis that affect your hip joints is important for getting prompt medical care.
With offices in Wall Township, Toms River, and Shrewsbury, New Jersey, board-certified orthopedic surgeon David Dickerson, MD, and the team at Performance Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine offer patient-centered treatment for hip arthritis, tailoring your treatment plan to your unique needs.
Here’s a quick overview of hip arthritis, including the types of arthritis that can affect your hips and the symptoms hip arthritis can cause.
Hip arthritis: The basics
About a quarter of American adults suffer from arthritis, a chronic disease that causes persistent, progressive joint damage. Over time, that damage can lead to pain, joint stiffness, and disability.
While lots of people know the symptoms of arthritis, many don’t know that there are different types of arthritis, including:
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis by far; in fact, this is the type most people think of when they hear the word arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear inside your joint.
Years of joint use eventually causes damage to the cartilage that lines your joint. Cartilage damage increases friction inside your joint when you move it, which in turn leads to inflammation and more damage.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that happens when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue. In addition to pain and stiffness, Rheumatoid arthritis can eventually cause joint deformity.
Septic arthritis happens after an infection damages your joint structure. The infection can be localized to your joint, or it may spread to your joint from another area of your body.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens to many people with psoriasis. Like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis is related to immune system dysfunction.
Sometimes, joint damage isn’t caused by an underlying disease or years of wear and tear. If you injure your hip joint, the resulting damage can lead to inflammation and arthritis. This type of arthritis can also happen after some types of surgery.
Arthritis in other joints
Sometimes, arthritis in another part of your body can cause hip pain too. For instance, arthritis in your knees, ankles, feet, or spine can cause shifts in your walking pattern and the way you carry your body weight, putting excess strain on your hip joints. While the arthritis might not be occurring in your hip joints, your hips can still be affected.
Treating hip arthritis
There was a time when a diagnosis of hip arthritis meant an eventual hip replacement. While hip replacement surgery can be a great option for people with advanced arthritic joint damage, today there are lots of other options.
Many people benefit from physical therapy to help relieve strain on your hips by strengthening the muscles in your legs and even your lower back and buttocks. Oral pain medicines and injections also play pivotal roles in reducing the inflammation that leads to joint damage.
Before prescribing any treatment, our team performs an in-depth evaluation of your hips, your symptoms, your medical history, and other factors. Most evaluations include diagnostic imaging of your joint, and sometimes, we may recommend a minimally invasive surgical procedure called arthroscopy to obtain highly detailed images of your joint structures.
Don’t ignore your hip symptoms
Hip pain isn’t normal, and it’s not a “natural” part of getting older. If you have hip pain or other symptoms in your hips, buttocks, or legs, having an evaluation can help you find relief and prevent any underlying problem from getting worse.
To learn more about hip arthritis and the treatments that can help you feel better, book an appointment with Performance Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today by calling our office nearest you or using our online booking system.