Friday, January 22, 2016

Understanding Arthritis of the Hip and How To Treat It

In 2010, 22% of the U.S. population reported having some type of arthritis.  That percentage
increases in the elderly to over 50%, with 1 in 4 suffering from hip arthritis before the age of 85.  The term “arthritis” means “inflammation of the joint,” and can cause pain in the hip and groin.  This is a progressive condition, getting worse over time.  There are five main types of arthritis that affect the hip, however three of these forms account for most causes of arthritis of the hip. 

Hip Anatomy
The hip is one of the body’s largest weight-bearing joints.  It is the area where thighbone connects to the pelvis.  This forms a ball-in-socket joint that is connected by bands of tissues called ligaments.  There are two parts of the hip joint: the femoral head (located at the top of the thighbone), and the acetabulum (the pelvic socket that houses the femoral head).  The ligaments that connect these points create the joint capsule.  The capsule is lined with synovium, a thin protective membrane that produces a viscous fluid, which lubricates the joint.  The fluid-filled sacs called bursae protect the areas where bones, tendons, and muscles meet and cause friction.  Multiple large muscles surround the hip and support movement and flexibility. 

Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis:  This is the most common form of arthritis found in the hip.  It means “arthritis of the bone.”  Osteoarthritis is far more common in the elderly and referred to as “wear and tear” on the joints.  When the smooth cartilage in the joint wears away, the bones rub together and cause pain.  This can lead to degeneration and permanently damage the joint.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:  This disorder affects the entire body, rather than just the hip joint and is caused by an immune response.  The synovial lining that surrounds the joint capsule becomes swollen, which causes pain and, eventually, deterioration of the bone and joint.

Psoriatic Arthritis:  This type of arthritis is related to the skin disease, psoriasis.  It can cause stiffness, swelling, and pain in any joint.  Generally, patients will have the skin disease first, characterized by scaly red patches on the skin; however, it is possible to develop the arthritis form of the condition first. 

Symptoms of Arthritis of the Hip
All types of arthritis share the same symptoms, which include the following:
·      Pain in and around the hip, including in the thigh, groin, and buttocks regions
·      Difficulty walking
·      Pain with prolonged or vigorous activity
·      Stiffness or limited range of motion
·      Pain that is worse in the morning, but gets better after light activity or stretching

Don’t let hip pain hold you back from what you love to do! Call Advanced Bone & Joint today to learn more about our comprehensive hip treatments. To make an appointment, use our online form or call us in St. Peters or O'Fallon at (636) 229-4222

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