Degenerative changes of hip arthritis can limit motion and have a major impact on quality of life. At his El Cajon and Coronado offices, Dr. McCandless treats hip arthritis in his San Diego, CA area patients using the latest techniques for optimal results so patients regain mobility, flexibility and strength in the joint.
Arthritis is an inflammation that develops in the joint, causing pain, stiffness and inflammation resulting in decreases in range of motion, strength and flexibility in the joint. Arthritis tends to be more common among older people, but it can affect younger people as well. Inflammation in the joint affects the cartilage, the slippery, slick covering on the ends of bones that comprise the joint. Healthy cartilage helps the joint function smoothly and without pain. Over time, inflammation can cause the cartilage to become damaged and worn, resulting in pain, swelling and even joint deformity. Age-related changes are a primary cause of arthritis, but it can also be caused or exacerbated by obesity, injury or overuse.
Arthritis of the hip can cause different symptoms which may be similar to symptoms caused by other problems, making diagnosis difficult at first. Most patients have pain that makes it difficult for them to walk and bear weight. Pain typically appears in the inner hip, but may also be felt in the thigh or buttocks. The joint may also feel stiff or warm to the touch. Other symptoms include swelling or tenderness in the joint, joint stiffness, or a “grinding” or “crunching” sound in the joint when it's moved.
Diagnosis relies on a complete personal and family medical history, a review of the symptoms, range of motion tests during a physical exam of the joint, and an x-ray to look for changes in the joint.
Treatment for mild arthritis can begin with rest, use of a cane to relieve stress on the joint, gentle stretching and physical therapy, weight loss and medication to relieve pain and inflammation. When these options fail to provide adequate relief, hip replacement surgery may be necessary.