Anterior Hip Replacement
Arthritis of the hip is a disease that wears away the cartilage between the femoral head and the hip socket (acetabulum). Secondary to the arthritis, the two bony areas may bone on bone. When this happens, the joint erodes and becomes less functional. The result is pain, stiffness and instability. In some cases, motion of the leg may be greatly restricted. There are two main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the United States. Osteoarthritis is degenerative and although it most often occurs in patients over the age of 50, it can occur at any age, especially if the joint is in some way damaged.
Osteoarthritis occurs commonly in the large weight-bearing joints of the lower extremities, including the hips and knees, but may affect the spine and upper extremity joints as well. Patients with osteoarthritis often develop large bone spurs, or osteophytes, around the joint, that may further limit motion.
Causes of Hip Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the hip is a condition commonly referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis. Although the degenerative process may accelerate in persons with a previous hip injury, many cases of osteoarthritis occur when the hip simply wears out. Some experts believe there may be a genetic predisposition in people who develop osteoarthritis of the hip. Abnormalities of the hip due to previous fractures or childhood disorders may also lead to a degenerative hip. Osteoarthritis of the hip is the most common cause for total hip replacement surgery.
The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the hip or groin area during weight bearing activities such as walking. People with hip pain usually compensate by limping, or reducing the force on the arthritic hip. As a result of the cartilage degeneration, the hip loses its flexibility and strength, and may result in the formation of bone spurs. Finally, as the condition worsens, the pain may be present at all times, even during non weight-bearing activities.
Dr. Ortega doctor may recommend various non-surgical therapies prior to a hip replacement if needed. An appropriate weight reduction program may be beneficial in decreasing force across the hip joint. However, weight reduction can be difficult for people with hip arthritis since the arthritis pain precludes them from increasing their activity and burning calories. An exercise program may be instituted to improve the strength and flexibility of the hip and the other lower extremity joints. Lifestyle and activity modification may be undertaken in an attempt to minimize the activities that are associated with hip pain. Various medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and/or nutritional supplements (Chondroitin/Glucosamine) may reduce pain and inflammation associated arthritis.
Assistive devices like a cane or a crutch may help to reduce the forces transmitted through the hip joint during walking, which may help decrease hip arthritis pain. If non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful, Dr. Ortega may help you decide that a total hip replacement is the best available treatment option.