Hip Injuries and Treatment
When the pain in your hip becomes unbearable, surgery is a viable option. At Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas our surgeons work with each patient to determine the best course of action. Then our team develops a personalized plan that includes treatment or surgery, physical therapy and post-therapy care. We offer minimal access surgery that speeds recovery so you can return to your active lifestyle.
Review these articles to help understand your symptoms and the available treatment options.
- Non-surgical Treatment Options
- Surgical Options
- Minimal Access Surgery
- Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
There are a number of non-surgical lifestyle modifications that your physician may prescribe to control the symptoms of arthritis:
Weight reduction is one way to control the symptoms of hip arthritis; simply losing weight reduces the amount of stress on your weight-bearing joints, including hips, knees, spine and feet. Any heavy lifting or excessive standing and walking should be avoided. Also, using assistive devices such as canes, crutches or walkers can help decrease stress on your painful hip.
Exercise and physical therapy
To improve the strength and flexibility of your hip and lower extremity muscles, exercise and physical therapy may be prescribed. Your exercise program can include stretching exercises, stationary biking, walking and light weight training. Aquatic exercises are especially effective for arthritis treatment since they allow mild resistance while removing the weight-bearing stresses.
- Analgesics, such as acetaminophen can provide limited pain relief but they do not reduce inflammation associated with arthritis.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Temporary pain relief can be achieved by reducing the inflammation of the tissue in the hip.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, may be recommended to decrease the inflammation associated with arthritis. Aspirin, ibuprofen and ketoprofen are over-the-counter NSAIDs which reduce inflammation and swelling along with prescribed NSAIDs available through your physician.
To improve the joint’s mobility and decrease hip pain from arthritis, the nutritional supplements glucosamine and chondroitin may be used. They can slow the cartilage deterioration in the joint and reduce bone-on-bone pain. Both are naturally occurring substances found in cartilage. Glucosamine is thought to promote the growth of new cartilage and repair the damaged cartilage, while chondroitin is believed to inhibit cartilage-destroying enzymes and to promote water retention, improving the elasticity of cartilage. Talk to your physician before taking these supplements.
When non-surgical options have failed to relieve joint pain, surgery is next step. Below are brief descriptions of common procedures that we utilize for hip pain.
Hip arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that involves making small incisions in the skin and inserting a pencil-sized arthroscope into the hip joint. The arthroscope is attached to a video camera that transmits the image of your hip to a television monitor allowing your surgeon to examine the interior of your hip. Your surgeon may then be able to determine the source of your hip pain and treat the condition.
A hip arthroscopy is most often performed on young, active adults to remove loose bodies from the hip joint, the removal of torn or loose portions of the labrum and treatment of the articular cartilage of the hip joint. Through small incisions, the surgeon inserts video probes to allow them to see the joint and take corrective action.
Hip Resurfacing can be an alternative to total hip replacement and is especially good for young active patients who can maintain heir active lifestyle. Dr. Burnikel was the first surgeon in South Carolina – and one of the first 50 in the US to perform an FDA-approved Birmingham Hip Surfacing.
Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common types of orthopaedic surgery. Each year over 200,000 are performed nationally. Steadman Hawkins has some of the most experienced hip replacement surgeons in the region.
The pelvic tomy procedure is reserved for those young, active patients with hip pain. For qualified patients, typically the hip has developed abnormally during growth and the pain is a warning sign that early arthritis can occur if not treated. If you have certain findings on x-ray, your surgeon can reshape your pelvis to place your hip joint in a safer position that should protect the cartilage in the joint for many years.
Minimal Access Surgery
Minimal Access hip replacement surgery is a more recent advance in surgery that can have you back on your feet faster than ever before. Thanks to a smaller incision, there is less trauma to the underlying muscles and soft tissues resulting in a smaller scar, less post-operative pain and a faster return to normal activities. In fact, minimally invasive hip replacement surgery may allow faster recovery compared to traditional hip replacement surgery.
Generally, anyone can benefit from a less invasive surgical technique. In some cases, due to the size or weight of the patient, the incision must be extended, but the trauma to the surrounding tissues will still be reduced when compared to traditional surgery. Your orthopaedic surgeon will try to keep the incision as small as possible, but there are times when the patient is best served by a larger incision.
Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement
Minimizing the Time from Replacement to Recovery
Steadman Hawkins surgeons – Brayton Shirley, Brian Burnikel and Philip Wessinger – are among the first in the region to perform the anterior approach to hip replacment. Using customized Hana tables allows the surgeon to replace the hip through a single incision, anterior approach without detachment of muscle from the pelvis or femur. The table allows hyperextension, abduction, adduction and external rotation of the hip for femoral component placements a positioning option not possible with conventional tables. The lack of disturbance to the lateral and posterior soft tissues provides immediate stability of the hip after surgery.
Advantages of the Anterior Approach to Hip Replacement
- Less Pain
- Faster Recover (2 to 8 weeks vs. 2 to 4 months with traditional hip replacement)
- Immediate Stability
- Few flexing/ movement limitations
- Muscles not cut – uses a natural window between muscles groups
- Small scar – about 4 inches long
Not everyone is a candidate for the anterior approach for hip replacement so contact us for an evaluation with one of our hip specialists by calling (864) 454-7422.