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Hip Arthritis

  • What is Hip Arthritis?

    Hip Arthritis is a painful condition of the hip, characterised by progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint. Hip Arthritis is among the most frequent causes of hip pain.

    The most common type of Hip Arthritis is Osteoarthritis. This is often referred to as ‘Wear-and-Tear’ Arthritis. In this type of Arthritis, the normal smooth cartilage wears away until bare bone is exposed. Other types of Arthritis include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gouty Arthritis and Lupus Arthritis.

  • Hip Arthritis usually affects patients older than 50 years. It is also common in people who are overweight. Some unusual causes of Arthritis are:

    • Developmental Dysplasia — When a hip is dislocated or out of position in infancy, the joint may not develop properly, and will lead to arthritis and problems with walking at a young age
    • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease — This is similar to Osteonecrosis (reduced blood supply to the bone), but happens during childhood, and can lead to permanent damage of the hip and early Arthritis
  • The most common symptom of Hip Arthritis is pain when putting weight on the affected hip, such as during walking or even sitting for a long time. Other symptoms include:

    • A limp, which is the body's way of protecting the hip
    • Difficulty walking over low obstacles on the ground
    • Stiffness, which may cause difficulty with certain activities such as getting into or out of a low chair or a car or using the toilet
    • As the condition becomes worse, you may feel pain all the time, even at night.
  • Treatments for Arthritis can include:

    • Heat to relax and loosen tissues and stimulate blood flow to the area
    • Ice to minimise inflammation
    • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
    • Rest to allow the acute inflammation to subside

    Hip Replacement Surgery may be considered in the following situations:

    • If Arthritis limits your everyday activities such as walking and bending
    • If pain continues while resting
    • If stiffness limits your ability to move or lift your leg
    • If you have little pain relief from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

    Hip Replacement Surgery involves replacing the head of the thigh bone (Femur) and the hip socket (Acetabulum). Hip Resurfacing, which retains more of your bone, may be appropriate for younger, more active patients.

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