Hip Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis—which means “inflammation of the joint”—affects nearly one quarter of the U.S. population. Among adults 65 and older, it affects nearly 50%.

There’s no cure for arthritis, which typically starts gradually and gets worse over time. Eventually, arthritis of the hip can permanently damage the hip joint.

The good news, however, is that the experts at Adventist Health Orthopedic Clinic have advanced training and extensive experience in diagnosing and treating hip arthritis, helping patients reduce their pain, enhance their quality of life, and improve their ability to perform everyday activities.

Types of hip arthritis

There are five main types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint:

  • Osteoarthritis (arthritis of the bone) is the most common form of arthritis and is more common in older adults. It’s often described as causing wear and tear of the hip joint.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disorder that affects the entire body; the inflammation it causes is related to an immune system response versus wear and tear
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammation of the spine and sacroiliac joint (where the spine meets the pelvis), which can sometimes cause inflammation of the hip joint
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) is an autoimmune disorder that can affect any part of the body, including the hip joint
  • Psoriatic arthritis is related to the skin condition psoriasis and causes joint pain, swelling and stiffness in any joint in the body, including the hip

Symptoms of hip arthritis

The symptoms of hip arthritis are the same regardless of what type of arthritis you have, and include:

  • Hip pain that may extend to the groin, outer thigh or buttocks
  • Pain that’s typically worse in the morning and eases with activity
  • Difficulty walking or walking with a limp
  • Pain that gets worse with extended or vigorous activity
  • Stiffness in the hip or limited range of motion

Treatments for hip arthritis

Treatment depends on the type of arthritis you have as well as your overall health, age and personal preferences.

  • Nonsurgical treatment of hip arthritis may include:
    • Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
    • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation in the joint
    • Physical therapy or exercise programs to improve flexibility, build strength and maintain muscle tone
    • Assistive devices such as canes or walkers that make walking easier and safer
    • Lifestyle modifications to reduce hip arthritis symptoms:
      • Maintaining a healthy weight
      • Appropriate pain management
      • Changing activities to lessen stress on the hip
      • Exercising to build strength
  • Surgical treatment of hip arthritis may include:
    • Total hip replacement may be appropriate if the hip joint is severely damaged; two of today’s most advanced hip replacement techniques are:
      • Direct anterior (front) approach hip replacement, a minimally invasive procedure that results in less pain, faster recovery and more normal function after surgery—so you can return to your regular activities sooner.
      • Minimally invasive posterior (rear) approach hip replacement, which involves separating (not cutting) the muscle fibers of the large buttock muscle at the side and back of the hip so the nerve path isn’t disturbed and the muscle isn’t injured.
    • Arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgery performed by inserting a lighted scope and narrow instruments through small incisions in the skin over the joint to correct problems such as labral tears.
    • Osteotomy, a major surgery in which damaged portions of the hip are removed and the joint reshaped or repositioned to correct a deformity and/or improve alignment and function. An osteotomy may be appropriate for someone who has hip deformity but is too young and active to be considered for hip replacement surgery.

Want to learn more about treatments for hip arthritis at Adventist Health Orthopedic Clinic?

Simply call us to schedule an appointment at the location that’s most convenient for you at Portland: (503) 261-6961.