The most common type of hip arthritis is osteoarthritis which affects millions of Americans and is one of the top 3 musculoskeletal reasons for visits to a doctor. The good news is not everyone needs surgery for this. There are several nonsurgical ways to manage the symptoms associated with hip arthritis. None of these “cure” the arthritis but can help you improve your function. You may notice your hip becoming stiff and may even feel that your legs are no longer the same length as the arthritis becomes more advanced.
Keys to living successfully with hip arthritis:
- Keep a healthy weight. Keep your body mass index under 30 but above 18.5.
- Engage regularly in low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, or walking and follow a strengthening program for your leg muscles. Sometimes a physical therapist can help. Exercising improves joint health.
- Generally, over-the-counter medications like Acetaminophen and the various nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) will help. Confirm with your healthcare provider that these are safe for you.
- Use an assistive device such as a walking stick, cane, or walker.
- Steroid injections into the hip may provide short-term relief but can have some drawbacks if you are considering surgery for the hip.
For additional information visit: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/globalassets/pdfs/hip-osteoarthritis.pdf
If you are working hard to incorporate nonsurgical treatments and still find hip arthritis limiting your activity, surgery may be a consideration. Hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful surgeries and has often been referred to as the “operation of the century” (The Lancet 2007) referring to its dramatic success at improving quality of life since in late 20th century.
You can always reach out to the team at New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine to evaluate the nonsurgical and surgical treatment options to fit your lifestyle.