By Allen S. Kent, MD, Northeast Tarrant County LIVING WELL Magazine
Hip pain is a common complaint with several different underlying causes. Proper diagnosis is important to direct proper treatment. We will discuss common causes of hip pain.
Common in adults over 60. Symptoms are deep central hip joint pain; usually toward the front of the hip and into the groin, the pain is aggravated with standing and walking, and relieved with rest. Painful popping or grinding and stiffness can also be associated with arthritis. The arthritic process usually progress over many years, with the cartilage surfaces inside the ball and socket slowly wearing out and becoming thinner, eventually resulting in complete cartilage loss, and bone–on-bone contact. At this point the joint is entering the “end stage” of osteoarthritis, and can develop osteophytes (bone spurs), and deformities.
Early treatment of osteoarthritis includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy including water therapy and use of a cane, crutches, or walker to lessen the wear on the joint. More severe pain from the arthritic process usually responds well to steroid (cortisone) injections. These are not curative but can give pain relief for several weeks or months.
End stage arthritis requires surgical treatment, usually in the form of a total hip replacement. This surgery normally gives excellent results with restoration of motion and ambulation. In this procedure the ball and socket are replaced with a metal ball and a polyethylene-lined titanium socket. Required – Two to three days of hospitalization, several weeks of physical therapy.
Tendinitis and Bursitis
Inflammation of tendons can cause localized hip pain in virtually any part of the hip. Similarly, bursitis can cause similar pain. Surgery is rarely indicated.
Referred Hip Pain
Caused by irritation to a nerve at a location away from the hip that then conducts a painful impulse down the nerve and across the hip. A common form of referred hip pain is “sciatica.” This requires evaluation of the cause of the sciatic nerve irritation.
Hip pain can have many different causes. Once the exact nature of the problem has been identified, significant pain relief and restoration of function is usually able to be achieved.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the office at 817-332-5591.