Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates | Santa Rosa, CA

Hip Surgery FAQs

What is the hip?

The hip is a “ball-and-socket” joint where the “ball” at the top of the thigh bone (femur) fits inside the “socket” in the pelvis (acetabulum). A layer of smooth cartilage covers the bone ends in a healthy hip joint, allowing you to walk and move your leg easily. When the bone and/or cartilage of the hip becomes diseased or damaged, the joint can stiffen and be very painful.

How are hip problems diagnosed?

  • Physical Examination
  • X-Ray
  • MRI or CT Scan

How is Hip Arthritis Treated?

The most common type of arthritis of the hip is osteoarthritis. In this disease, the cartilage in the hip, especially the acetabular labrum, gradually wears away with use and time. Patients with arthritis of the hip may find relief in a number of non-surgical treatments before considering replacement surgery. The goals of these treatments are to relieve pain, to increase mobility and restore the quality of life. Treatments for osteoarthritis include:

  • Exercises to improve flexibility and strength
  • Maintaining healthy body weight
  • Medication (NSAID’S: ibuprofen or naproxen)
  • Assistive Devices – Orthotics, Cane
  • Physical Therapy
  • Hip replacement surgery

Rheumatoid arthritis is another type of arthritis that affects the hip. In rheumatoid arthritis, the hip becomes inflamed and cartilage may be destroyed. Treatment includes:

  • Medications
  • Physical Therapy
  • Hip Replacement Surgery

What is Avascular?

Avascular Necrosis (AVN) is a disease resulting from the temporary or permanent loss of blood flow to the bone. This can lead to the destruction of the bone and severe reduction in functionality of the joint. AVN is especially common in the hip and can be treated several ways:

  • Total Hip Replacement
  • Core Decompression

What is Trochanteric Bursitis?

Bursitis is the painful swelling of the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the areas where tendons and muscles slide across bone. Specific to the hip is trochanteric bursitis which refers to the bursa by the head of the femur. This shock absorbing sac can become agitated and swollen for unknown reasons or as a symptom of other issues such as changes in walking patterns, uneven leg length, or Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Steps can be taken to prevent bursitis by strengthening the core and hips through a moderate training program. Orthotic inserts for people with flat feet can also help. The condition can be treated by:

  • Rest
  • NSAIDs
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections

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