Hip pain can be a very disabling condition having a major impact on a person’s quality of life. Once conservative treatments are tried, hip replacement could be the solution, but not for all. Hip pain can actually represent a variety of different things. Pain in the groin is a very common finding with advanced arthritis, but hip pain in the groin does not by definition imply advanced hip arthritis. Some people get growing pain associated with lower back problems, spinal stenosis, bulging disks, and therefore the symptoms radiate from the lower back even though it is felt predominantly in the area of the hip or buttock. Doctors often see a very common source of hip pain to be hip bursitis, which is pain more on the side of the hip, and this must be distinguished from arthritis because the treatment is much easier, certainly for bursitis, and sometimes even for the back issues.

Hip pain caused by arthritis can affect people of any age.

How are hip problems diagnosed?

Typically, doctors will examine the patient with something as simple as watching them walk, and then they will move the hip around, palpating the hip as they check for issues like hip bursitis or back problems. They will look for sciatic issues with the physical examination and when doctors identify what appears to be a range of motion limitations that are consistent with hip arthritis, an x-ray is certainly the next appropriate step. This is typically done on the first visit, but sometimes when the x-rays reveal early arthritis, or what appears to be early arthritis, an MRI may show far more severe findings of bone spurs, fluid build-up, and other issues that can be indications that the arthritis is more advanced than it appears. This certainly would explain a patient’s limitations. When the joint is destroyed, a hip replacement is certainly an appropriate option and the most appropriate solution.

Hip replacements are actually recognized as one of the most effective operations in terms of the cost-benefit and to the benefit of the patient. Hip replacement surgery is an extremely well-tolerated procedure that people get through very nicely. As far as joint replacements are concerned, hip replacement is one of those better recoveries for most patients.

What can cause arthritis of the hip?

Arthritic conditions of the hip can result from a multitude of things such as hip dysplasia, trauma, and even gender. It can be hereditary as well. Genetic predisposition is probably one of the most common causes of arthritis. Doctors often see a familial tendency towards arthritis. They find that mom and dad had arthritis, grandpa and grandma had it, and it gets handed down to the next family member. It’s not uncommon to see patients with this type of family history. People can get arthritis at any age, but the most common age range is for people in their sixties and seventies. Doctors will access each patient’s specific condition and determine how best to treat their arthritic condition based on their functional limitations. Hip replacements should definitely be considered by individuals when it curtails their ability to do the things they need to do, but simply cannot.