Osteoarthritis of the hip

Osteoarthritis of the hip

  • Information about osteoarthritis of the hip
  • What is osteoarthritis of the hip?
  • Do symptoms causes osteoarthritis of the hip?
  • How is osteoarthritis of the hip diagnosed?
  • How is osteoarthritis of the hip?


The hip is the most important joint of the lower extremities. The correct operation of the hip, along with the knee, is necessary for us all activities of our daily lives that require the movement of our legs, such as walking, climbing and down stairs, incorporate us from a Chair or sit. In the lower extremities the hip to the knee is much more required to make these so frequent activities, which, unfortunately, patients with osteoarthritis of the hip can see limited their daily activities to a greater degree than patients in which osteoarthritis affects other less important joints.


Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joint quite frequent, although less than the osteoarthritis in other locations such as the knee, joints of the hands, or the column.
Just as, in the rest of the osteoarthritis, it appears much more frequently in older people. It is rare that a hip osteoarthritis develops in a young person. When this happens, usually it is because the affected hip suffered some other type of previous disease, such as congenital dislocation, trauma, or some kind of inflammation or infection. All these previous processes can leave sequelae in the hip that favor that develop early arthritis in the joint. For some reason that is unknown, the osteoarthritis of the hip is something more frequent among men than among women.
The hip joint is formed by the union between the bones of the pelvis and femur, which is a bone of great size that gives structure to the thigh in the lower extremity. In the portion of the femur which is coupled with the pelvis, the femur has the shape of a sphere or ball called the femoral head. This ball of the femur fits into a niche that exists in the pelvis, so that forms a perfect gear that allows the movement of the femur in many directions, thanks to the muscles that are located in the pelvis, buttocks and the thigh muscles.
Both the head of the femur and the hollow of the pelvis that is articulated, are covered with cartilage, which is the tissue that facilitates movements between bones and prevents that rub directly bone with bone. With the passage of the years, and as a result of the progressive wear of these cartilages, loses its thickness and texture and become even disappear. This gives rise to miss the correct gear between the femur and pelvis, which is precisely what causes the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hip.


Arthrosis of other locations, like the fundamental symptom that causes osteoarthritis of the hip is pain. Pain in osteoarthritis of the hip is primarily located in the groin region. Sometimes, the location of this pain can be extended, and the patient also noted discomfort for the anterior face of the thigh, which even go as far as the knee, and may also notice pain in the buttock.
Popularly known as "hips", actually corresponding anatomically to the lateral regions of the pelvis and a portion of the bone of the femur which is called trochanter. There is a false belief, widespread among people, that when pain you have in this area, which popularly are called "hip", this is due to osteoarthritis of the joint, which is completely wrong. As it has already been discussed, osteoarthritis of the hip joint causes pain in the groin region and not on what people referred to as "hip". In reality, these pains "hip" are usually problems of tendinitis of the muscles of the pelvis and buttocks, very frequent among women, especially have overweight or accumulation of fat in these regions. Sometimes, these problems of tendinitis coexist in the same patient who also suffers from arthritis in hip, and in these cases the location of the pain is much more extensive, and includes the region badly called "hip".
In osteoarthritis of the hip pain, in the early stages of the disease, appears only in the circumstances that will force much articulation, as for example after a great walk or following up or down long flights of stairs. The pain is easily soothed with rest. However, as osteoarthritis progresses, the pain becomes more intense and more continuous and appears after the completion of minor physical effort. In addition, the patient feels some difficulty progressive to perform actions such as slipping or cross one leg over the other when sitting. When the disease is advanced, can appear a limp when walking.
Hip osteoarthritis is a chronic disease; that is, that it lasts a lifetime. It usually tends to evolve very slowly, over the course of years. This arthritis does not necessarily leads to disability or major disability. Many sick, with the help of proper treatment, can manage reasonably well in the activities of their daily lives, without further prejudice that a certain limitation for some specific activities.


The diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the hip is relatively simple for the doctor. It is based on the interrogation that the physician to the patient about the type of symptoms you have and its characteristics, followed by an exploration of the joint of the hip, with their movements. By exploring, the doctor can objectify the degree of osteoarthritis that exists. To confirm the diagnosis, it is necessary to carry out an x-ray of the hip. In it, you can see typical changes that causes arthritis in the joint, and can establish a prognosis on the seriousness of the same, according to which the hip is more or less worn.
Blood tests are useless for anything in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the hip, totals, as well as the so-called "rheumatic tests" are normal. Other diagnostic tests more sophisticated and complex, as the scanner or the resonance, nor are necessary to diagnose and treat arthritis in hip. Also, bone densitometry, which is usually to evaluate the hip and lumbar spine, cannot diagnose osteoarthritis. Bone densitometry is used to diagnose osteoporosis, which is a disease caused by decalcification of the bones (and not by the wear and tear of the joints), and therefore has nothing to do with arthritis.


Although there is still no treatment that cure arthritis, we today have a wide array of therapeutic measures to combat arthrosis and slowing its progression. These treatments help patients navigate their daily lives with a very acceptable life quality, achieving a remarkable decline and even disappearance of pain with that courses arthrosis.
Measures of treatment, as in the rest of the osteoarthritis, rehabilitation treatments include. Rehabilitation encompasses a series of physical exercises that should make all the patients, in order to maintain the most hip mobility and strengthen muscles that move it. It is very important that obese patients undergo a slimming diet appropriate, in order to avoid the overhead posed by overweight on the joint. Occasionally, the use of a cane to walk can be very beneficial for the relief of pain in the joint.
As for medications, the doctor is who should be assessed, in each patient and individually, what is the most appropriate pharmacotherapy in every moment of the evolution of the disease (analgesics, anti-inflammatory...).
Finally, and as a final resort, the osteoarthritis of the hip can be operated. Surgery is indicated for patients who suffer from very advanced arthritis, in which there is a very major limitation to walk or to perform their daily activities. The intervention consists in replacing damaged by a prosthetic hip joint. Despite being a major operation, is today performed in a routine manner and with a great warranty as to its results. After a program of rehabilitation after intervention, patients recover and notice the disappearance of symptoms, and can walk and perform a virtually normal life.

Source of information and images: artrosis.livemed.es/index.html

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