A healthy hip joint has a smooth lining of cartilage — a cushioning surface that helps the joint glide and absorb the stresses of normal daily activities. This surface also allows the bones of the joint to glide without friction or pain.
Over the years, our joints experience stresses and strains that are a normal part of daily life. Arthritis, injury and disease can wear down the cartilage and allow the femur (thigh bone) to rub against the pelvis and cause pain.
This is common as people enter their 60s and 70s. But it can also occur at a younger age, depending on an individual’s weight, activity level, and anatomy. Arthritis can also be caused by infections, traumatic injury, and inflammatory disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Hip pain can be treated with medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery. For many patients, joint replacement surgery is the best option. A qualified physician can help determine the best course of treatment.
Hip Replacement Surgery
During surgery, the worn surfaces of the hip are removed and an artificial joint is implanted. This surgery is usually very successful, with more than 95 percent of patients reporting relief from pain and a return to everyday activities.
Some options available to hip-replacement patients:
With this approach, a surgeon does not remove the “ball” of the hip. Instead, the ball is capped with a metal prosthesis. The goal is to remove less bone. This may be a good option for younger patients.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
This technique uses a smaller incision and aims to minimize trauma to muscles and other soft tissues. Benefits may include less discomfort and blood loss, shorter hospitalization and rehabilitation, and a quicker return to work.
A few patients may be candidates for this surgery, which allows them to receive a new hip and go home the same day.