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Hip Arthritis


The definition of arthritis is painful inflammation and stiffness in a joint. Several forms of arthritis can affect the hip joint, muscles and bones causing pain stiffness and swelling, and loss of movement. The most common cause is Osteoarthritis (OA) often called ‘wear and tear’ arthritis because it develops over the course a lifetime due to wear and tear on the joint. OA typically affects people older than 60 with a family history of arthritis and is accelerated by obesity. However, OA can be caused by trauma and develop earlier.

OA is a degenerative condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness and limits motion. The arthritic process progressively breaks down the cartilage that lines the surface of the hip bones to reduce friction. The cartilage becomes brittle, frays, breaks into pieces, and floats in the joint fluids causing locking and pain. In end stage OA the cartilage is destroyed causing the bones to rub together, wear unevenly causing deformity and the loss of function. Damaged bone attempts self-repair by creating bone spurs which only aggravates the pain and stiffness and loss of motion. In the end, hip OA results in poor quality of life and a loss of independence

Younger patients can develop hip arthritis from underlying conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, infections, genetic defects in cartilage formation, and anatomic conditions such as hip impingement.

What are the symptoms of hip arthritis?

  • Joint pain
  • joint stiffness that develops from sitting too long, and make just getting out of bed challenging
  • pain, swelling and tenderness
  • a crunching sensation as bone rubs against bone with movement
  • hip dysfunction that makes every day ordinary activities difficult

How is it diagnosed?

Dr. Cooper will review your medical history, ask about your symptoms, conduct a thorough examination of your hip and test hip mobility, and order x-rays. X-rays will reveal the first signs of OA, a narrowing of the space between the bones which indicates the loss of cartilage and bone on bone rubbing; and bone spurs. Based on his findings he will make a diagnosis and recommendations for treatment.

What are the treatment options?

The goal of treatment is to improve function and reduce pain so the patient can continue to live independently and perform regular daily activities with less pain and stiffness. Conservative management will include lifestyle modifications, over the counter and prescription pain medications, physical therapy, the use of a cane or walker, and losing weight.

When hip OA causes disability that can’t be relieved with conservative measures, hip preservation surgery may be offered to delay hip replacement, or total hip replacement surgery will be recommended.

Hip replacement (total hip replacement)

OA is the most common cause of hip replacement. The procedure involves the remove and replacement of arthritic part of the joint, and implantation of replacement parts called implants made of metal and plastic. It is only recommended when all other options have failed to provide sufficient relief.

Dr. Cooper performs hip replacements using a minimally invasive superior approach to the hip. This approach does not involve violation of the IT band or many of the other muscles around the hip cut during a traditional hip replacement. This minimally invasive approach gives patients less pain and permits a faster recovery.

In addition, Dr. Cooper performs the procedure robotically with the MAKO robot. The robot ensure accurate down to the millimeter replication of the surgical plan. It allows the surgery to be performed with greater precision. Using the robot, Dr. Cooper and position the components to the exact degree, and millimeter that are tailored to each individual patient’s anatomy and needs.

Many patients go home from hip replacement on the same day or the day after surgery. Rehab is fast and you can expect to be walking the same day as your surgery with your new hip.

When you have hip pain contact Dr. Joe Cooper a hip expert. You will receive compassionate expert care.

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