The hip joint is the largest weight-bearing joint in the human body. It is also referred to as a ball and socket joint and is surrounded by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The thigh bone or femur and the pelvis join to form the hip joint.
Arthritis means “joint inflammation.” It causes pain and swelling in the body’s joints, such as the knees or hips. There are many types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common. Also known as degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis, osteoarthritis is more likely to develop as people get older.
Patients who have osteoarthritis of the hip sometimes have problems walking. Diagnosis can be difficult at first. That’s because pain can appear in different locations, including the groin, thigh, buttocks, or knee. The pain can be stabbing and sharp or it can be a dull ache, and the hip is often stiff.
Factors that may contribute include joint injury, increasing age, and being overweight. In addition, osteoarthritis can sometimes be caused by other factors such as
1. The joints may not have formed properly.
2. There may be genetic (inherited) defects in the cartilage.
3. The person may be putting extra stress on his or her joints, either by being overweight or through activities that involve the hip.
By means of an examination and X-raying, hip arthritis can be detected. The best method to differentiate between different injuries of the hip is MRI.MRI enables us to visualize very different structures during one examination like muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bones. If it is necessary, we do also apply a well-tolerated contrast agent to improve the visibility of certain structures.
If hip arthritis distinctively lessens the quality of life, e.g., by causing pain, limited range of motion, or if it becomes a real handicap in daily life, often surgery is indicated.
Since arthritis often encompasses the whole joint, cartilage reconstruction therapy is not very promising, but hip replacement becomes necessary.
At an early stage of the disease, the CORE decompression (drilling the femoral head) in combination with infusions of vasoactive drugs is a suitable therapy. But hip replacement surgery is inevitable in many cases by replacing the hip joint by a hip joint endoprostheses. Different operation techniques and hip joint endoprostheses are in use to meet the individual necessities of each patient to grant the best care possible. A crucial role plays patients´ activity, bone quality, general health condition and personal goals but also other factors like allergies.