Your hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, formed by the ball, or femoral head, at the upper end of the thighbone, and the rounded socket, or acetabulum, in the pelvis. The bone ends of a joint are covered with a smooth, tough material called cartilage. Normal cartilage cushions the bones and allows nearly frictionless and pain-free movement. The rest of the surfaces of the joint are covered by a thin, smooth tissue lining called the synovium. The synovium produces fluid that acts as a lubricant to reduce friction and wear in the joint.
Common symptoms include but are not limited to limited range of motion making walking, climbing, and bending difficult. Hip related pain is not always felt directly over the hip. You may feel it in the middle of your thigh which may actually reflect a problem in your back, rather than your hip itself.
In most cases, your Boston Orthopaedic & Spine physician will be able to diagnose your problem with direct examination. In the likelihood that there may be additional injury to the joint, or if the swelling makes diagnosis difficult, your physician may order further diagnostic testing eg. Bone scan, MRI to further evaluate the joint.
Common injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Slip and falls
- Repetitive stress injuries to the hip.
Wear & Tear
Arthritis is the most common form of pain due to general wear and tear. The pain associated with arthritis of the joint usually develops slowly over time, although sudden onset is also possible. Pain may worsen after a period of inactivity, or in the morning. Activities such as overuse or excessive physical activity may exacerbate the pain. The joint may become swollen and stiff, and it may become difficult to examine. The degree of pain and immobility may be affected by changes in the weather.
Arthritis can be treated with injection. In severe cases a joint replacement may be required.
Surgery or not?
The decision whether or not to surgically repair the joint depends on several factors, including the extent of the injury and the expectations of the patient. Your ProSports physician will determine the degree of the injury or injuries to the knee, and the “laxity,” or looseness, of the joint.
For younger patients with moderate to several injuries and laxity, who want to continue with a broad range of physical activities, surgery will most likely be necessary. For older patients and others with less severe injuries, who anticipate less vigorous physical activity, a rehabilitation program will be prescribed.
Knee rehabilitation includes exercises to restore the full range of motion to the knee, followed by a program of strengthening exercises. These programs continue until the leg strength and flexibility are nearly back to normal.
Protocols are available to guide you through your recovery.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have hip pain or loss of function, our experts are here to help. Contact Boston Orthopaedic & Spine today, and learn more about your options.