Hip Pain

The largest ball-and-socket joint in the body is the hip joint. It allows the thigh to move in different directions. The hip joint allows the hip to support the weight of the body. It is known to withstand a fair amount of wear and tear. However, with age and use, the cartilage can become damaged.

Hip injuries can happen during a fall leading to hip pain. Hip disorders are often caused due to developmental or chronic conditions, and sometimes due to infections too.

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Types of Hip Injuries

If the hip is injured, its ability to function well is severely limited since the injury can have a lasting impact on the working of bones, ligaments, muscles and other surrounding tissues of the hip.

Symptoms

Although the symptoms of hip injuries depend on the cause of injury and the location of injury where the patient is experiencing pain, some of the most common symptoms noticed are:

  • Pain in the hip
  • Decreased movement in the hip joint
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Leg pain when weight is applied on the injured leg
  • Limping
  • Swelling and tenderness of the hip
  • Difficulty sleeping on the hip
  • Loss of motion of the hip

Diagnosis

It is always advised to visit an orthopedic surgeon once you notice hip pain. Your doctor will perform a physical examination to assess your condition and diagnose the cause. A simple visual examination may show if the pain is due to an injury or needs more investigation in which case your doctor might order an X-ray/Ultrasound/CT scan/MRI scan. Any or all of these tests may be ordered depending on your condition to confirm the diagnosis.

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Treatments Available

Treatment for hip pain and injury depends on the exact cause of the pain. If the pain is low to moderate, then your doctor may suggest rest, ice pack application and prescribe anti-inflammatory medication. If there is a chance of infection, then your surgeon may prescribe a mild dose of antibiotics too. However, for serious injuries like fractures or arthritis, surgical procedures that include plates, screws or even total joint replacement is suggested.

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Hip Treatments By Dr. Pradyumna R

Hip Arthritis

One of the most common chronic joint conditions of the hip is

Osteoarthritis

People suffering from osteoarthritis usually suffer because the cartilage which covers the bone breaks down, causing the bones along with joints to rub together. This leads to stiffness of joints and severe pain.

This condition is mostly seen in older people and is often called degenerative joint disease. Although age plays a major role, other reasons like torn cartilage, ligament injuries or dislocated joints can also cause osteoarthritis.

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Hip Fractures

A break in the top portion of the thigh bone, also known as femur, is termed as Hip fracture. Hip fracture is one the most serious injuries that can be life-threatening.

If you have a broken hip, then pain in the hip or groin region is one of the most common symptoms. The skin around the injured area may swell and become bruised. You may be unable to walk correctly.

To understand the extent of fracture, your surgeon may order an X-ray. If the image is unclear or if he needs more details, your surgeon may suggest MRI or bone scan. In bone scan, your doctor will inject a small amount of radioactive dye. The ink travels through your blood into your bones which helps the doctor understand the extent of fracture very clearly.

Hip fractures almost always require surgical intervention, followed by physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

Return To An Active Life Even After Hip Fracture

Hip Bursitis

Often referred to as trochanteric bursitis, hip bursitis occurs when fluid filled sacs outside the hips become swollen. This condition is more common in females as compared to males. The most common causes of hip bursitis are hip bone spurs, bad posture injury due to bump or fall, and overuse of joints.

Treatment

Your doctor may suggest a rest for a few days and prescribe painkillers. He may also recommend a cane or crutch to reduce the pressure on the injured area. Sometimes steroid injections are prescribed too which are injected into the bursa. However, surgery is rarely required for this condition.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I reduce inflammation in my hip?
    Apply ice packs to the injured area every 4 hours. Visit an orthopedic surgeon to understand the cause of your pain & to rule out any major injury. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers to reduce pain and swelling. Rest the injured area
  • When should I visit a doctor about my hip pain?
    Tears in the hip pain can cause severe pain. Even with the slightest discomfort, it is advised to visit an orthopedic surgeon immediately. Having your pain evaluated and getting the right treatment as soon as possible is extremely important. This allows you to get your injury treated faster and recover faster.