Osteoarthritis Hip (Hip Arthritis)
We’ll help you get moving again as quickly as possible
We use our hips a lot when we’re young. Dancing, football, jogging are no problem at all. In old age, it’s often a different picture. When your hips hurt suddenly with every step, this may be a sign of wear and tear in the hip joint. Your hip joints are the second-largest joints in your body. They connect your thighs to your pelvis. Over time, the cartilage tissue between the top of the thigh and the hip socket can become worn, resulting in painful rubbing against the groin area. This is called hip osteoarthritis, and can actually be treated effectively.
At Schoen Clinic we carry out protective, non-surgical measures to delay the need for an artificial hip joint replacement. If a replacement should still be necessary, our enhanced recovery programme ensures you become mobile again quickly.
Osteoarthritis Hip Symptoms
The hip joint – why does it exist?
The thigh and hip socket are linked together in the hip joint. Between these is a protective layer of cartilage tissue which acts as a buffer. This can be worn down over the years and is referred to as hip osteoarthritis or coxarthrosis.
Causes: how hip osteoarthritis occurs
Excessive strain damages the cartilage tissue. More and more tissue is torn off inside your hip joint, and hip osteoarthritis develops. Because of existing unevenness or misalignment in the hip, the affected bones move slightly which causes irritation inside your joint. Every step hurts. Your joint capsule and membrane become affected as well. The layer of cartilage is eventually completely destroyed, and both of the bones of your joint start to rub against each other without protection.
Hip osteoarthritis: symptoms you should be aware of
Pain in the hips and reduced mobility are clear signs of hip osteoarthritis. At the beginning, these symptoms will only occur under heavy or longer periods of stress. Your hip joint will hurt on long walks, when climbing stairs or when walking across uneven surfaces. Eventually, the pain will set in at rest and in the mornings while getting up. After a relaxing evening of watching TV on the sofa, for example, you won’t be able to get up straight away. You’ll first need to “warm up” again. According to the level of wear, grinding noises may be heard while walking. In the later stages of hip osteoarthritis, some movements will no longer be possible at all.
Adjacent joints, particularly the sacroiliac joint and knee joint, will often be affected as well due to posture. This misalignment can also cause back pain.
At Schoen Clinic, if we suspect hip osteoarthritis, we first assess the mobility of your hip. In a physical examination, our specialists will probe the capsule swelling and misalignment in your joint. We also look for the exact cause behind any pain during movement.
X-ray imaging – a crucial indicator
X-ray examination is one of our standard imaging procedures. On these x-ray images, our experts can see if the bone of the joint has changed in shape or the joint space has narrowed. The more cartilage that’s missing in the hip joint, the narrower the joint space.
Additional examinations may be required on occasions. If we suspect inflammatory joint disease, we also carry out blood tests or take a fluid sample from the hip joint.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis of the Hip
Walk pain-free again
Where possible, we will treat hip osteoarthritis without surgery. As part of our conservative treatment, we combine painkilling and anti-inflammatory medication with targeted physiotherapy exercises.
Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive treatment. Through this process, the soft tissue in your joint is preserved through the use of small incisions.
If your pain can no longer be tolerated, we recommend hip surgery. We help you choose what’s best for you from a wide range of treatment methods.
Conservative treatment methods
Hip osteoarthritis: treatment without surgery
Step 1: hip osteoarthritis: relieve pain
Pain therapy is always a top priority for us. Through a combination of painkilling and anti-inflammatory medication, we can successfully minimise your pain and reduce the inflammatory parameters in the hip joint.
Step 2: Hip osteoarthritis: exercises for improved mobility
Afterwards, our physiotherapists help you carry out effective exercises to support the healing process. This helps tendons and muscles shortened due to altered or poor posture in the hips stretch out again and regain strength.
Electrotherapy, exercise baths and even x-ray stimulation therapy also have a positive effect on the progress of your hip osteoarthritis.
Surgical treatment methods
Surgery for advanced hip osteoarthritis
If your joint has fully deteriorated due to arthritis, we recommend a hip replacement. More and more patients are choosing this option to reduce their pain and gain back their mobility.
Even before surgery, we recommend exercises at home as part of our Enhanced Recovery programme. This will fully prepare you for the procedure to help you quickly become mobile again afterwards.
In the operation, your surgeon will replace the deteriorated hip joint with an artificial hip joint (total arthroplasty, or TEP). This imitates the function and structure of your natural hip joint as accurately as possible. Depending on the extent of your hip osteoarthritis, we consult with you and select your ideal implant. Your age, bone density, body weight and daily activities will play a big role in this selection.
Less pain through pelvic realignment
We put your hip joint back into shape through realignment surgery. In this procedure, we check the shape conformity and alignment of the hip joint and reset it, allowing us to prevent hip osteoarthritis from progressing. In addition, we can remove excessive bone growths to ease your symptoms and relieve your pain.
Rehabilitation and Aftercare
Fit and healthy again for everyday life
Hip surgery is your prelude to a new life with increased mobility. To attain this, you’ll receive support during your rehab from our professional physiotherapy team.
We put together a personalised recovery programme for you. This will include therapies such as physiotherapy, ergotherapy, massages, and sport and movement therapy. Pain therapy is also a crucial component. We use pain medication on the one hand. But on the other hand, we also help you treat your pain yourself and loosen your muscles through Kinesio taping and biofeedback training. You’ll learn more about your own disorder including what sports are good for me? What will I need to be aware of in the future, and what should I avoid? The focus is always on protecting the joint.
Greatly improve your walking distance
Through intensive training with our physiotherapists, most patients rapidly increase their personal walking ability. Feedback when leaving the clinic frequently mentions that the new hip felt like the original one. A sign of success for both our patients and ourselves. You will be able to live your life as usual, practise your favourite sports and safely return back to work.