Hip Conditions

Hip Conditions, Knee & Shoulder InstituteArthritis of the Hip

There are many types of arthritis of the hip but they all can result in the damage to and loss of the smooth articular cartilage of the hip joint.  The hip is a ball and socket joint and when this cartilage damage begins to occur it can cause very severe pain and disability.  When the cartilage in the hip degenerates to the point at which the bone beneath it is exposed, patients describe a grinding pain resulting from the unprotected bony surfaces rubbing on each other.  As a result, our bones respond by growing large bone spurs that can cause pain as well as significantly reduce range of motion.  Once non-operative treatment has failed, the surgical treatment for this condition is to replace the joint surfaces with an artificial hip (Total Hip Arthroplasty).

Our goal in Total Hip Arthroplasty is to improve pain and function with as little discomfort and limitation as possible.  To do this (in appropriate patients) we perform the Anterior Approach.  This surgical approach goes between the muscles in the front of the hip joint through a 10 cm incision.  Other approaches (posterior, lateral) require varying degrees of detaching and reattaching muscles during the procedure which can cause more pain and instability which could increase the risk of dislocation.  The anterior approach on the other hand has the lowest rate of dislocation and has very little limitation in activities from the day of surgery on.

Greater Trochanteric Bursitis

The outer bone around the hip joint that you can feel is called the Greater Trochanter and can be painful at times either from an injury or just greater than normal activity.  If patients experience this pain, they may have Greater Trochanteric Bursitis.  This pain occurs when the lubricating tissue on the outside of the hip (bursa) becomes inflamed or aggravated.  This can be very painful and can radiate upward toward the pelvis and downward along the outside of the thigh.  Many times activity limitation and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can address this condition effectively.  Other times, very specific physical therapy or even a steroid injection can be helpful in treating this problem.  In most cases patients are able to make a full recovery under the correct treatment plan.  It is extremely rare to require surgical intervention for this condition.