Department of

Orthopaedics

Arthritis of the hip

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint (round shaped surface of one bone fits in the cavity of another bone). At the end of each bone, a rubbery but firm material called cartilage is present. The cartilage is made up of proteins and water. When the cartilage faces wear and tear, the underlying bones rub against each other leading to inflammation at the joint. This condition is called arthritis of the hip.

There are three different types of hip arthritis namely:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Ankylosing spondylitis; and
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

The immune system of our body fights against foreign bodies to keep our body healthy. An autoimmune disease occurs when our immune system attacks our own body confusing it to be a foreign element. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can attack joints of the hip. This type of arthritis happens on both sides of the body hence, both hips may be affected.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the spine which in turn leads to pain in the lower back and hips.

The immune system of our body fights against foreign bodies to keep our body healthy. An autoimmune disease occurs when our immune system attacks our own body confusing it to be a foreign element. Systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in various parts of the body including the joints. A person with systemic lupus erythematosus is at a higher risk of osteonecrosis of the hip (a disease that kills the bone cells and weakens the bone structure leading to arthritis).

The factors that cause arthritis of the hip are:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Genetic issues in cartilage
  • Activities that put extra stress on the hip joint
  • Improper joint formation

Symptoms of arthritis of the hip:

The symptoms of arthritis of the hip are as follows:

  • Limping associated with pain
  • Difficulty in performing daily activities like sitting, climbing the stairs
  • Joint stiffness
  • Pain in the hip joint
  • Swelling around the hip joint

Diagnosis of arthritis of the hip:

The orthopaedic conduct a thorough physical examination to evaluate the gait (manner of walking), mobility and strength. An x-ray may be suggested to detect changes/ abnormalities in the bone structure (narrowing or spurring of the bone). Blood tests are conducted to check for a presence of rheumatoid factor—or any other antibody that may cause inflammation.

Treatment of arthritis of the hip:

The course of treatment for hip arthritis is planned by taking into consideration the age, stage of arthritis and your comfort. The treatment options include:

  • Weight management: Weight loss is the first step in treating hip arthritis. Weight loss helps in reducing the pressure exerted on the joints, thus reducing further wear and tear of the joint and the cartilage.
  • Exercise: Learning certain new exercises can assist in improving mobility.
  • Physical therapy: A therapy towards strengthening the muscles around the hip joint may reduce the stress over the joint.
  • Medications: Medications are prescribed by the orthopaedic to reduce the inflammation, pain or infection is present.
  • Total hip replacement surgery: In this, the orthopaedic doctor will remove the damaged cartilage and bone. Then to restore the joint, a new metal or plastic joint is placed at that location. Total hip replacement is often suggested for patients with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis to relieve pain and improve range of motion.

The orthopaedic department at OMNI Hospitals Visakhapatnam is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. We have the best orthopaedic in Vizag who are skilled at treating arthritis of the hip. We provide the best orthopaedic care for your joints and bones. 

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