Also known as degenerative or “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis of the hip typically occurs in adults with the age of 45 years and older, when the cartilage that cushions the joint breaks down and eventually wears away. Characterized by stiffness and pain, severe cases can be profoundly debilitating.
Arthritis frequently occurs to persons who have a family history of the disease and sometimes develops because of subtle irregularities in how hip developed at an early age. Hip arthritis is more common who are obese. Other aspects that may contribute include trauma to the hip and fractures in the bone, but several people get hip arthritis who have no risk factors.
- Pain that flares with activity and lessens with rest
- Hip stiffness and reduced range of motion
- Stiffness and discomfort in the groin, thigh, or buttock in the morning
- Knee pain referred from the hip
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the smooth layer of tissue that lines the joint known as the synovial membrane becomes thickened and inflamed. Meant to lubricate the joint, the thickened synovium damages the cartilage, causing stiffness and pain.
Treatments for Hip Arthritis
Early non-surgical treatment can be effective at reducing pain and disability as well as slowing the progression of the disease. Surgery may be required if the condition is severe. The surgical procedure is performed by the surgeons by using surgical instruments which can be obtained by the orthopedic instrument manufacturers.
- Weight Loss– Weight loss can have a very positive impact in overweight patients. The less weight the hip joint has to bear, the better the hip will feel.
- Rest and Activity Modification– Limiting certain activities may be essential and learning new exercise methods can help with flexibility and mobility.
- Walking Aids– The use of a crutch, cane or walker will reduce the demand placed on the arthritic joint.
- Physical Therapy– Strengthening of the muscles around the hip joint can help lessen the strain on the hip. Keeping the muscles flexible and mobile is important in maintaining hip function. Physical therapy that includes gentle, regular exercise like water aerobics, swimming or cycling may be beneficial.
- Anti-inflammatory Medications– Prescription or nonprescription anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDs) are usually used to treat inflammation and pain.
Total Hip Replacement Surgery:
If conservative treatments fail to bring relief; if hip pain is impacting normal daily functioning, total hip replacement surgery (arthroplasty) may be prescribed.
Hip replacement surgery may be a choice if:
- Simple daily activities such as bending or walking are impaired.
- Hip pain is significant and prevents sleep
- Stiffness in a hip and groin limits mobility
- Anti-inflammatory drugs are not effective
- Pain medications are not tolerated
- Other treatments including physical therapy are no longer useful
The surgery is mostly performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone, then positions new metal, plastic or ceramic joint surfaces to reconstruct the joint.
An artificial joint is made up of two basic components: the ball (made of a highly polished strong metal or ceramic material) and socket (a durable cup of plastic, metal, or ceramic). Special surgical cement is frequently used to secure the artificial joint in its position.
Sometimes in younger and more active patients, a non-cemented type of prosthesis is used. This prosthesis is intended so that the bone will grow into and integrates with the porous surface of the implant. In some cases, a combination of a cemented ball and non-cemented socket is utilized.
Minimal incision Surgery
Orthopedic surgeons are constantly working to develop new techniques to improve joint replacement surgery. new small incision and minimally invasive surgery techniques are being developed for total joint replacement. Because less tissue is cut, these techniques may allow for quicker, a more rapid return to activities and less painful recovery.
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