Elderly couple outside with hip pain

Hip Pain: What Does It Mean and How Do I Treat It?

Categories: Diagnosis & Testing


Our staff of orthopedic surgeons and pain management specialists understand the difficulty that a hip injury can impose. Gone untreated, a hip injury can inhibit you from engaging in your favorite physical activity, or, in chronic conditions, prevent you from going through your daily routine without pain. Hip pain may also be an indicator that you need a joint replacement surgery. So what causes hip pain?

 

5 Common Causes of Hip Pain

We generally associate hip pain and hip injuries with older people. Though this is true, younger and middle-aged people can also experience hip pain. Because the hip is centrally located in the body, pain that you experience in other parts of your body can be an indicator of hip pain. These body parts include the thigh, groin, buttocks, and the inside or outside of the hip joint. Pain in these regions may or may not be related to more general conditions:

 

human radiography scan made in 3D

1. Osteoarthritis

A common source of hip pain, osteoarthritis can cause the hip to become inflamed, breaking down cartilage tissue. This will lessen the hip’s ability to resist friction. Patients with osteoarthritis in the hip may experience pain in any of the regions listed above.

 

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is most common in women, and causes inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It often affects both sides of the body in an almost uniform fashion. If left untreated, RA can cause permanent damage to the bones and joints.

 

3. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis causes the bones to become more porous (and consequently weaker) due to calcium loss. This increases the chance that bones will fracture during a fall, and is especially common in patients over 65 years old.

 

4. Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa, a sac filled with liquid. This can take place anywhere in the body after long periods of sitting or standing in fixed positions, or from the repetition of exaggerated motions. Bursitis in any regions close to the hip may cause hip pain.

 

5. Stress Fractures

Stress fractures result from repetitive motions like running and marching, and can occur as a result of either a weak bone (from osteoporosis) or a normal bone undergoing extreme pressure.

 
 

4 Approaches to Hip Replacement Surgery

Artificial Joint Replacement, also known as arthroplasty, can be invaluable to those who experience frequent hip pain. Not only will it relieve this pain, but it will also replace the arthritic joint with an artificial joint. This means that the bones will now rub against a new surface, allowing the joint to move smoothly and without pain. This solution is most common for those with osteoarthritis, but may also be used for other conditions that cause worn-down joints.

 

1. Anterior Approach

This procedure accomplishes the same objective as artificial joint replacement, but takes a less invasive approach. This is the most common joint replacement option today.

 

2. Hip Resurfacing Arthroplasty

This approach allows the doctor to remove less bone during the procedure. It is preferable for younger patients, as they are more likely to need another artificial joint replacement in the future.

 

3. Revision Arthroplasty

A procedure in which somebody who has already received one artificial joints receives a different artificial joint.

 

4. Hip Pinning Surgery

Often used for a fractured hip, this procedure reattaches the broken ends of the fracture. Because hip fractures occur most often in elderly people, resuming physical activity as soon as possible is paramount. This simple pinning solution will allow the patient to be active again, and minimize time spent in bed.