Hip Osteoarthritis Treatment

Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis. This disease affects the tissue covering the ends of bones in a joint (cartilage). In a person with osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged and worn out causing pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement in the affected joint. Osteoarthritis may affect various joints including hips, knees, hands, and spine.

Osteoarthritis is characterized by damaged articular cartilage, cartilage lining the hip joint. Advanced age is one of the most common reasons for osteoarthritis of hip. One may also develop osteoarthritis if he/she had hip injury or fracture in the past, there is family history of osteoarthritis, suffering from hip diseases such as avascular necrosis and other congenital or developmental hip diseases.

The characteristic symptoms and diagnostic test helps in diagnosing the condition. The patient will experience severe pain confined to hip and thighs, morning stiffness and limited range of motion.

Management of Osteoarthritis

There are several treatments and lifestyle modifications that can help you ease your pain and symptoms.

  • Medications: Pain-relieving medications such as NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors and opioids may be prescribed. Topical medications such as ointments can be applied over the skin where there is pain.
  • Other Treatments : The physiotherapist will teach exercises to keep joints flexible and improve muscle strength. Heat/cold therapy which involves applying heat or cold packs to the joints provides temporary pain relief. Lifestyle modifications can be done to control weight and avoid extra stress on the weight-bearing joints.
  • Surgery : Total Hip replacement surgery is considered as an option when the pain is so severe that it affects ability to carry out normal activities.