An orthopedic surgeon treats disorders of the bones, the muscles and the connective tissue that links the two. Do not let the word "surgeon" fool you: An orthopedic surgeon will exhaust all conservative treatment options before they opt for surgery.Some orthopedic surgeons treat all parts of the body, while others specialize even further. Dr. Matthew…
Four Common Causes of Hip Pain
There can be many causes of hip pain. The hip is the body’s largest ball and socket joint. While the hip is designed to handle a lot of repetitive movement with no issues, sometimes things go awry. Hip pain is a common complaint, especially among the elderly and those with physically demanding jobs.
A doctor will be able to accurately diagnose the cause of chronic or acute hip pain. Consulting with a doctor should be the first step to hip pain treatment. Here are four common causes of hip pain that might come up in the conversation.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are among the most common sources of hip pain. Because arthritis targets joints and the hip is one of the largest joints in the human body, most cases of arthritis manifest in the hips eventually.
Arthritis inflames the hip joint and can gradually chip away at the cartilage that protects the joint from damage. Arthritis is a progressive condition that gets worse with time. However, it can be managed with certain medications and procedures. Stiffness and a reduced range of motion are symptoms typically associated with arthritis, as well.
Tendons connect bones to muscles. Tendinitis is a condition marked by inflammation or irritation of a tendon. The symptoms include pain and difficulty moving the affected joint. Tendinitis may sometimes be caused by a bacterial infection, but the most common cause is strain from overuse. Improper use of a joint can also lead to tendinitis.
Arthritis can also place someone at a higher risk of tendinitis because the arthritis breaks down the hip cartilage, damaging the overall structure of the joint. This improper structure can lead to extra strain on the tendons, leaving them vulnerable to tendinitis and other problems like sprains.
3. A tendon or muscle strain
Similar to tendinitis, a tendon or muscle strain is often the result of repeated stress on a joint. Those who perform exerting, repetitive tasks on a daily basis are at a higher risk of tendon and muscle strains.
A muscle or tendon strain in the hip can usually be treated with plenty of rest, some ice, and compression or elevation of the joint. However, it is important to get an exact diagnosis from a doctor to rule out more serious or chronic causes of hip pain.
4. Hip labral tear
The labrum refers to the ring of cartilage that protects the outside rim of the socket half of the hip joint. This cartilage is responsible for cushioning the hip joint and keeping the thigh bone secure. Repetitive, high intensity twisting and exercise are the most common ways that this labral cartilage can tear.
Labral tissue cannot heal on its own. In order to repair a labral tear in the hip, a doctor will typically call for targeted physical therapy. Additional surgical procedures may also be required to repair the damaged tissue. Depending on the severity of the injury, some patients may be able to avoid surgery entirely and see sufficient improvement from physical therapy alone.
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