Hips are made up of balls and socket joints that connect the legs to the torso. The joints, which serve as the heads of the thigh bones or femurs, can rotate within the sockets (acetabulum), enabling the flexibility of the legs and hips. Even with such capacities, the joints or areas around the hips are still susceptible to inflammation and pain.
There are many things that can cause pain in the hips; trauma is the most common one. When there is inflammation of the hip joints, one may experience not only soreness, but also redness, warmth, or swelling in or around the hips. There’s a chance of a serious hip problem when you experience all symptoms at once.
Apart from the pelvic bones, cartilages may also be involved in hip pain.
Here are some factors associated with the pain:
Joint or bone infection – bacteria that enters the bones and joints (perhaps from the blood stream) is called osteomyelitis
Hip osteonecrosis – happens when there’s not enough supply of blood in the bones
Arthritis – it can be felt on front part of the thigh or groin
Hip labral tear – a tear in the rim of cartilage around the socket
Hip fracture – when severe pain is felt after a fall or a sport injury involving the hip, it’s best to see the doctor quickly, as it may be because of a broken hip bone
Other conditions linked to pain in the hips are:
- groin strain
- hip impingement syndrome
- hip flexor strain
- snapping hip syndrome
- Iliotibial band syndrome
A back problem may also be connected with hip pain.
Most of the time, if there is only a slight pain felt in or near the areas of the hip, it may not be more than just a minor kind of condition that can be treated at home. Apart from anti-inflammatory and pain medication, plenty of rest will be needed to make the symptoms go away. Sometimes, injections and physical therapy may also be needed. But if the soreness becomes excruciatingly unbearable, you will need to see a doctor quickly.
In intense cases of hip pain, which involve a fracture for instance, surgery will be required. Here are some types of procedures done on a patient who suffers such instances.
Thanks to advancements in technology, alternative procedures can be done in order to lessen a patient’s health risks during surgery. Arthroscopy is one such technology that makes it easier for doctors to treat their patients. Open surgery poses more risks than making small incisions. And with smaller incisions come better and faster recovery.
There are different types of hip scope procedures. Each one is used depending on which area or specific part has been affected.
When the synovial lining (the lining of the hip joint) is affected and causing extreme pain, the surgeon may need to remove it through this procedure. Heat-generating radio frequency probes are inserted in the joint capsule to take out the damaged tissue.
Treatment for Impingement/Lesion
Hip impingement happens when there is limited space in the hip for the tissues lining the bones, making it difficult for the legs and hips to move properly. The condition may be due to labral tear or cartilage irritation.
Cam impingement is that extra protruding bone on the ball of the joint, and it causes reduced movement and rotation of the hip. To treat this, there’s a need to remove the lesion through osteochondroplasty. Since there is pressure in the hip, the procedure will go through a process of decompression to release the strain within the area.
The pincer impingement is similar to the cam impingement, only that it affects the hip socket’s cup. The pincer impingement is similar to the cam impingement, only that it affects the hip socket’s cup. It fashions a “pinching” effect of soft tissues in particular movements during physical activity. It can be treated by acetabuloplasty, which involves the resection (removal) or decompression of the lesion.
An abnormal development of the joint is called a hip dysplasia. There are many factors that could cause this bone misalignment (acquired and congenital), but the most common is when a fetus is in a breech position.
Here are procedures that treat certain types of hip joint deformation:
Bone deformation can be corrected by cutting the bone. This procedure is called osteotomy. It involves reshaping and repositioning to restore normal bone alignment and relieve pain due to the abnormality. In some cases, especially when the deformation is severe, an open surgery may be needed to realign the bone.
This procedure is done by taking out loose fragments of cartilage in the joint. A surgeon will use a grasper or a motorized shaver; that’s according to specific factors, like the fragments’ size. Another term for the treatment is chondral debridement/repair.
Labral Tear Treatment
Treatments to labral tears depend on where and how often they occur. Yet all aim to restore as much healthy tissues as possible.
In, Labral refixation, an anchor is attached into the bone. Then, the suture appended to the anchor is fed around the tissue and fastened to the concave surface of the pelvis (acetabulum). The surgery enables the scar tissue to form down the acetabulum and remain there permanently after the suture dissolves.
Labral debridement is performed when the labral tissue has become dead, infected, or permanently damaged. The procedure entails a removal of such tissue to help improve the healing of other healthy tissue. A tool called a rotating shaver is used to trim or cut off the weak tissue.
After getting rid of dead tissues or realigning your hip, you will need to take your time to recover fully; you have to avoid any demanding physical activities to make your hip heal faster. Even walking at this point can be a burden to you. Thus, as recommended by your doctor, you will use crutches for two to four weeks, and a hip brace (to support your body as you use the crutches) for about a couple of weeks as well.
Hip pain can be a real problem if you just let it slide. Do not risk suffering serious hip injuries and having to go through procedures that are invasive and expensive. Go to your doctor the minute you notice recurring pain or discomfort in your body.