Osteoarthritis of the Hip
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and can be found most commonly among an older demographic. Osteoarthritis affects the tissue that cover the cartilage of the bones in our joints, so a person with this disease will suffer from damaged and worn cartilage, which causes swelling, pain, stiffness, and limited movement of the affected joint.
Osteoarthritis can affect different joints, such as the knees, the hands, the hips, and the spine. Osteoarthritis of the hip is the most common form of this type of arthritis, and the rarest forms can affect the wrists, the feet, and the shoulders.
Osteoarthritis differs from rheumatoid arthritis because it occurs gradually over time as a result of wear and tear as opposed to RA, which is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks healthy joint tissue. OA is slowly degenerative, which means patients can live with symptoms if they follow the proper treatment. These Osteoarthritis management solutions include medication, exercise, physical therapy, and a special diet if necessary.
These patients, which are often elderly, can also use canes and other forms of support to continue living their daily lives. The condition can worsen, but there are conservative and surgical treatment options if Osteoarthritis symptoms impact the patient’s quality of life.
While there are differences in the source of rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis symptoms, both conditions manifest in similar symptoms.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is caused by joint damage, and this kind of damage can accumulate over time, which is why age is one of the most common causes of OA. The older you are, the more wear and tear your joints have sustained. As we age, the more inflammatory foods we eat, overuse exercises we perform and strain our joints experience, the more likely we are to become afflicted with Osteoarthritis.
Other causes of osteoarthritis include injuries such as torn cartilage, ligament injuries, and dislocated joints. But it can also be caused by joint malformation, poor posture, and obesity. In some cases, the cause can be genetic.
Osteoarthritis has some signature symptoms such as severe pain in the hip and thighs, limited range of motion, and morning stiffness. Your physician can diagnose this by analyzing the symptoms and performing a physical examination as well as X-ray tests, scans, and even blood tests to rule out any other condition with similar symptoms.
Osteoarthritis can be treated by both non-surgical and surgical means. Nonsurgical methods include medication for pain relief such as opioids, NSAIDs, topical medication such as ointments, and if the pain is too severe to handle, patients can have corticosteroid injections directly in the affected joint.
Other non-surgical treatments include physical therapy to regain flexibility and muscle strength, cold or heat therapy for temporary pain relief, and lifestyle changes to control weight and stress on the joints.
Surgical treatments include hip joint replacement surgery, which is only considered when non-surgical methods are unable to provide significant relief from joint discomfort. By removing the compromised joint tissue and replacing it with an implant or grafted tissue, patients are given renewed joint health.
Work with your physician to determine the best treatment approach to improve your joint health and limit the impact that your Osteoarthritis has on your quality of life.