Hip pain can arise due to any number of issues that include the bones, connective tissue, nerves, and muscles of the joint. If you're suffering from chronic hip pain, it's essential to have it examined so you can rule out any major issues. If you're a resident of Lubbock, Texas, or the surrounding area, the Center for Orthopedic Surgery has expert doctors who can diagnose and treat hip pain. Call the office or use the online booking agent to make a consultation to have your hips examined today.
You can experience pain at a number of places on the hip. Discomfort on the inside of your hip or near the groin might be coming from the joint itself. Problems with the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissue in the area usually emerge as pain on the outside of the hip, upper thigh, or outer buttock.
Hip pain may result from overuse, pinched nerves, injuries, or arthritis. You may have a dislocation or fracture; inflammation of the bursa — sacs that protect muscles and tendons as they cross the bones; a muscle strain or pull; tendinitis; or a labral tear. Because so many things can be causing the pain in your hip, it’s important to have an expert, such as the doctors at the Center for Orthopedic Surgery, examine the joint.
Hip pain can also arise due to a problem or inflammation in another area, such as the disks of the lumbar spine. Sometimes these disks can herniate and put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica, which is characterized by numbing pain from the hip down into the leg. A tight piriformis muscle, which is located in the buttocks, can also pinch the sciatic nerve and cause hip pain.
Inflammation of the iliotibial band, or IT band, may also cause hip pain, as well as knee pain. IT band syndrome occurs due to overuse and is associated with tightness of the muscle groups that surround the knee and the hip.
You can typically lessen minor hip pain by taking a break from aggravating activities, using over-the-counter pain medications, and trying ice/heat therapy. But when your pain won’t go away and instead starts to interfere with daily activity, it’s time to seek diagnosis and treatment.
You should also see the specialists at the Center for Orthopedic Surgery if the pain comes on suddenly and brings redness, swelling, or weakness.
The doctors at the Center for Orthopedic Surgery do a careful examination, order imaging tests, and consider your medical history when diagnosing your hip pain. Treatment may include conservative interventions, such as physical therapy, movement adaptations, rest, medications, and stretching. In some cases, more aggressive treatments, including surgery or joint reconstruction, may be required.
If your hip has been damaged by arthritis, a fracture, overuse, or other conditions, debilitating pain could interrupt even simple daily activities such as walking, getting up out of a chair, or standing.
If you experience stiffness, pain while sleeping, and have trouble getting dressed due to hip pain, a replacement may be the solution. You may also consider this surgery when conservative treatments, such as medication, movement modifications, rest, and walking supports no longer alleviate your pain.
Recommendations for surgery are based on your pain and disability, not your age. Hip replacements have been successful for people of all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis, but the typical age for replacement surgery is between 50 and 80.
The doctors may recommend hip replacement if:
The doctors conduct a thorough physical evaluation of your hip and general health before recommending surgery. They will also review your medical history and perform several imaging tests, including X-rays and MRIs, to ensure that hip replacement surgery is right for you.
In total hip replacement, the surgeon removes the damaged bone and cartilage and replaces it with prosthetic components. The femoral head — top of the leg bone — is replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The surgeon inserts a metal or ceramic ball on the upper part of this stem to replace the damaged head of your femur.
The damaged cartilage surface of the socket is removed in favor of a metal socket. Finally, the surgeon inserts a plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer between the new ball and socket to allow for smooth, pain-free gliding.
Hip replacement surgery typically results in a dramatic reduction in hip pain and a significant improvement in your ability to do daily activities. But, excessive activity or being overweight can speed up the degradation of the replacement and cause pain.
The doctors may caution you against running, jumping, or high-impact sports and encourage you to take up hiking, golf, biking, or dancing instead. With proper activity modifications and self-care, hip replacements last for many years.