Osteoarthritis (OA) of the Hip

Osteoarthritis of the hip is the loss of articular cartilage in the hip joint.

Patients with osteoarthritis of the hip typically complain of pain in the groin, buttock, and thigh, described as a dull ache and throbbing pain that is worse when standing, sitting, and walking. Patients report noticing a decrease in the range of motion, and sometimes difficulty putting on socks and shoes. People also complain of pain at night and pain that causes them to limp when walking.

Osteoarthritis can be diagnosed by plain X-rays. Treatment for osteoarthritis of the hip varies. The initial treatment consists of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc.) and application of ice to relieve the pain and inflammation in the hip joint. If loss of motion has occurred, stretching exercises or physical therapy is recommended to maintain range of motion. Steroid injections are often provided for symptomatic relief; these are usually done by a radiologist under fluoroscopic guidance (X-ray).

If the osteoarthritis is advanced and conservative treatment has failed, often a total hip replacement is necessary for pain relief and return to function.

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