Hip Osteoarthritis

What is Hip Osteoarthritis and what happens to cause this issue?

Arthritis is a type of joint inflammation. It causes pain and swelling, most commonly in the body’s joints. Osteoarthritis, which is a type of joint disease is more likely to develop with age. Osteoarthritis occurs when an injury to a joint causes the cartilage tissue to break down. Cartilage is a firm, rubber like material that covers the ends of bones in normal joints, and is primarily made up of water and different protein structures. It’s main purpose is to reduce friction in the joints and serve as a type of impact absorber, much like shocks in vehicles. The shock-absorbing nature of cartilage stems from its ability to mold into different shapes when compressed. This is possible do its high water content, and although cartilage may try to repair itself when damaged, the body does not create new cartilage to replace what has been damaged. Osteoarthritis usually occurs slowly over many years and can be caused by multiple factors such as, the joints not having formed properly, genetically transmitted abnormalities within the cartilage, or putting stress on joints, such as being overweight or through other strenuous activities.

What does a typical treatment look like?

The main goal of when treating osteoarthritis of the hip area is to improve mobility and overall quality of life. This goal involves improving the function of the hip, as well as minimizing pain. There are many treatment plans available and can include rest and joint care, use of a support to take weight off the affected hip, exercise and losing excess weight. Other options include nondrug pain relief techniques to control pain, medications, including acetaminophen (Tylenol), an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen (Advil), or a prescription pain medication, replacement surgery, and alternative therapies. Changes to lifestyle in combination with treatments is key to managing pain and disability, but your own outlook on life is a major component to treatment. The ability to cope despite pain and disability brought on by this type of osteoarthritis very often determines how intensely it will affect your everyday life.

Is there a recovery time before it’s gone or does it have lingering effects?

After surgery a patient will need walking aids, and after a short time will be able walk around the house without pain. An increase in the distance from walking around the house without pain or resting is an important step in what is considered short-term recovery. The average short-term recovery time for a total hip replacement is 4 to 6 weeks. Exercise can increase overall endurance and strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint, making it more stable. If you feel new joint pain, stop any exercise immediately. New pain that lasts for multiple hours after exercise means you’ve overworked it but that doesn’t mean the damage is permanent or that you should stop exercising all-together. Wait a day or two and begin again at a slightly lower level of intensity.

What are the orthopedic consequences of not treating it?

Not treating Hip Osteoarthritis can result in pain and the degradation of motor functions. There are many options available for treatment and it should be considered for personal well-being.

Hip Fracture

What is it/what happens to cause this issue?

A hip fracture is a break located in the upper quarter of the femur (thigh) bone. The severity of the break depends on the strength of forces that are involved. A hip fracture is a very serious injury and usually requires surgical repair or replacement, followed by several months of physical therapy. By taking steps to maintain bone density and avoid falls, people can help prevent a serious hip fracture.

Signs and symptoms that a hip fracture has occurred include:

  • -Inability to move immediately after a fall, followed by severe pain in your hip or groin area.
  • -Inability to put any sort of weight on your leg on the side of your injured hip.
  • – After the fall, a sudden stiffness, bruising, and swelling in and around the hip area.
  • -The leg on the side of the injured hip seems shorter.
  • -There is a noticeable turning outward of the leg on the side of your injured hip.

What does a typical treatment look like?

Your doctor will be able to see that you have a hip fracture based on your symptoms and abnormal position of the hip and leg. To confirm this, an X-ray is used to find exactly where the fracture is on your bone. If for some reason the X-ray doesn’t show a fracture but you are still experiencing hip pain, your doctor may order a bone scan or MRI to look for a small hairline fracture.

Treatment for a hip fracture is made up of a combination of surgery, rehabilitation, and following medication. The type of surgery you have generally depends on the location and severity of the fracture, whether there is a displaced fracture in which the broken bones aren’t properly aligned, and your age as well as any underlying health conditions. The options for surgery include:

  • Internal repair with screws method: this is where metal screws are inserted into the bone to keep it together while the fracture heals.
  • Partial hip replacement: this is where your surgeon may remove the head and neck of the femur and install a metal replacement. This is generally used if the ends of the broken bone are displaced or damaged.
  • Total hip replacement: in this, your upper femur and the socket in your pelvic bone are completely replaced with prostheses. This is a good option if arthritis or a prior injury has damaged your joint, affecting its function before the fracture ever occurred.

Your doctor may recommend getting a partial or total hip replacement if the blood supply to the ball part of your hip joint accidentally became damaged during the fracture. This happens most often in older people who experience femoral neck fractures, meaning the bone is much less likely to heal properly.

Is there a recovery time before it’s gone or does it have lingering effects?

Rehabilitation for a hip fracture requires a lot of your participation. Your physical therapy team will likely get you out of bed and moving on the very first day after surgery. There is an initially focus on range of motion and strengthening exercises. You may need to go from the hospital to an extended care facility, depending on the type of surgery you had and whether you have assistance at home.

In extended care and at home, an occupational therapist will work with you to help you learn techniques for independence in daily life, bathing, dressing, cooking, and using the restroom. They will also determine if a walker or wheelchair may help you regain more mobility and independence.

What are the consequences of not treating it?

It is important to treat any of these symptoms and after treatment allow the foot and toes to rest. Ignoring this could lead to irreversible damage in your foot, and ultimately lead to a disability.