Why Does My Hip Hurt? By Dr. John Rogerson
As People Age, So Do Their Bones
Many times individuals develop certain conditions that cause their hips to hurt. Listed below are some common causes for discomfort in the hip joint region.
Non-inflammatory degenerative disease of the joint is characterized by degeneration of cartilage. The joints in our body are covered with a protective layer of cartilage, which acts as a natural shock absorber or cushion. Over time, this natural cushion may wear due to osteoarthritis; a disease causing the progressive deterioration of joint cartilage. If the wear becomes significant, it can result in the painful condition of bone rubbing on bone.
Literally, osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis means death of bone. It occurs when an area of bone loses its blood supply. Without blood, bones will break down and collapse. Osteonecrosis of the hip joint accounts for more than 90 percent of all osteonecrosis cases. Each year, between 10,000 to 20,000 people develop osteonecrosis in the US. This disease is primarily seen in people 20 to 40 years old, with men being more susceptible.
This condition occurs when the body's own immune system attacks the synovial lining of the joints, just as it would foreign bacteria. Synovial fluid is a clear, smooth oil-like lubricating liquid that makes it easier for the joints to move.
Traumatic arthritis results when the joint or the ligaments surrounding it are damaged by fracture, dislocation, or accident-related injury. All arthritic conditions result in stiffness, swelling, and the loss of motion. It becomes difficult to put pressure on the hip, and the joint becomes increasingly tender and swollen. As time passes, arthritis of the hip can significantly affect the ability to walk.
Regain Your Active Lifestyle
Until recently, the only thing limiting your active lifestyle was the number of hours in the day. Lately, however, instead of choosing between jogging or cycling, you’re faced with the choice of enduring the hip pain you feel from these activities or refraining from physical activity completely. Even simple things like bending down to pick up your child or kneeling to enjoy time in your garden have become troublesome.
Almost as difficult as coping with these challenges is the fact that you are far too young to be faced with chronic hip pain. But in reality, a variety of hip conditions affect countless people under the age of fifty. Traditionally, many of these conditions have gone untreated simply because a practical treatment option was not available. Thanks to arthroscopic hip surgery, this is no longer the case. In fact, minimally invasive hip procedures may give patients the pain relief they need with smaller scars and less postoperative pain than open surgeries. This means patients can enjoy a quicker return to the physical activities and lifestyle they enjoy.