The hip is an important joint as it controls a range of movements, such as stretching and bending. It also supports the body during walking, standing and running. The joint consists of a ball and a socket that are connected to each other by bands known as ligaments; these are lubricated to guard against friction. Cartilage surrounds the joint and helps to stop the bones from rubbing together.
Hip problems can affect you at any age, and can make it difficult to move around or perform simple tasks. The most common hip condition is osteoarthritis, which happens when the cartilage in the hip joint is damaged and the bones are left exposed to rub against one another, causing severe pain. In rheumatoid arthritis the immune system attacks the lining of the joint, resulting in pain and stiffness in the hip. Hip problems can also be the result of falls, sports injuries or congenital diseases.
Specialist treatment for hip problems
Our expert orthopaedic specialists and hip surgeons will offer you reassurance and support from diagnosis through to treatment and follow-up care. The first step is to screen your hip using MRI scanning facilities, x-rays or ultrasounds to diagnose your condition as quickly as possible. Following diagnosis, our team of orthopaedic specialists will explain the next steps and the treatments available to you.
Medication such as steroid injections, inflammatory drugs or pain-relieving gels and creams may help relieve your symptoms. Drugs specifically aimed at tackling the immune system – known as disease-modifying medications – can help with rheumatoid arthritis.
Walking aids can help to keep you mobile and physiotherapy can also be very effective in tackling symptoms, as it strengthens the muscles that surround the joint. Unfortunately, as the arthritis gets worse, none of these treatments remain as effective.
Hip impingement is a condition in which there is abnormal contact between the rim of your hip joint socket and the bone just below the ball part of the thigh bone when you move your hip. Often bringing your knee towards your chest will cause pain, usually in the groin but sometimes further down the front of the thigh, side or back of the hip.
Without treatment, hip arthritis may develop, which may ultimately require a hip replacement. Surgical treatment for hip impingement includes hip arthroscopy, hip resurfacing or hip replacement.
If your arthritis is in the earlier stages, resurfacing surgery may be possible. This replaces the diseased or damaged surface of the bones and your consultant may recommend this as an alternative to a full hip replacement, depending on your age, lifestyle and the health of your bones.
A hip arthroscopy is effective in treating an impinged hip. It corrects damaged cartilage by using a keyhole technique and, in some cases, it can stop osteoarthritis from developing.
If your arthritis is more advanced, you may need a full hip replacement.
At Highgate Private Hospital we can treat a whole range of hip problems and injuries. If you cannot find what you are looking for here, then please give us a call.