Dr. Drew Burleson, a hip arthroscopy specialist at Beacon Orthopaedics in Miamisburg (Dayton), shares tips to overcoming a common joint condition.
As we age, our joints naturally start to break down or degenerate. This is a form of arthritis called “osteoarthritis,” and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) estimates that over 21 million Americans suffer from the condition. Osteoarthritis often occurs in the knees, hands, and hips. When it comes to hip arthritis, there are four treatments that can effectively help you return to an active, pain-free lifestyle. Once you notice joint pain, it is important to see a fellowship trained, board certified sports medicine specialist or orthopaedic surgeon as soon as possible. This will help minimize any continued damage and often means a more conservative treatment plan will be effective.
(Hip Joint with Arthritis)
(Healthy Hip Joint)
The four most common and widely recommended treatments for hip arthritis, from most conservative to least are:
- Physical Therapy
- Arthroscopy or Hip Scope
- Total Hip Replacement
Each treatment path should be recommended by your orthopaedist based on your desired goals, medical history, and the severity of your hip arthritis.
Many specialists will recommend starting with physical therapy to try to repair the hip joint without surgery. At Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Miamisburg, physical therapy teams work with orthopaedic doctors to provide patient-specific treatment plans. Some general goals of physical therapy are to eliminate or reduce pain, control swelling, improve range of motion, strengthen supporting muscles, and improve blood supply to the hip joint. For many people who address their osteoarthritis early, physical therapy can be an effective treatment option.
The spectrum of injections and ortho-biologics is wide, but the most common for hip arthritis are cortisone, platelet rich plasma (PRP), and stem cell injections. Each of these injections may be used independently or in conjunction with physical therapy or arthroscopic surgery. It is very important to see a qualified, trained orthopaedic doctor for any joint injection to ensure it is done properly.
Cortisone provides pain relief for up to six months but is not meant to be a long-term solution. Some physicians may use a cortisone injection as a way to delay surgery or help the patient with physical therapy to strengthen the joint.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) involves drawing blood from a patient, spinning that blood in a centrifuge to separate the blood platelets, then injecting those platelets using an ultrasound for precise placement. This procedure is meant to provide your hip joint with healing and growth factors to support the cartilage and bone tissue that were damaged by arthritis. PRP is commonly used alongside physical therapy or arthroscopic hip surgery to improve or accelerate results.
Stem cell injections are an effective non-surgical treatment for hip arthritis. Bone marrow is taken from the patient and used to provide stem cells to repair damaged tissue. Stem cell injections generally provide faster recovery than surgery, but are not as effective as an arthroscopic procedure for more aggressive hip arthritis.
Hip Arthroscopy (“Hip Scope”):
Over the past twenty years, a revolutionary approach to surgery has been blossoming. This minimally invasive surgical method is called “scoping” and allows your surgeon to operate through a small tool called a “cannula.” The surgeon can interchange different surgical instruments through the cannula (which acts like an access tunnel), all while seeing inside the hip joint with a tiny camera. For most forms of hip arthritis, this is the most effective treatment method. A hip scope allows the physician to remove damaged tissue and physically repair damage to bone and cartilage. Removing small pieces of cartilage or bone floating in the joint is often an important part of the repair, which can only be done surgically. Often times a hip scope will be paired with PRP injections and/or physical therapy to speed up the recovery process.
Total Hip Replacement:
Unfortunately, severe cases of hip arthritis are often too advanced for physical therapy, injections, or arthroscopy to be effective. This is often because patients wait years or even decades before addressing the problem, and the deterioration worsens. Once a joint is damaged irreparably, it may be time for a total hip replacement. This procedure is done through a 3 to 4-inch incision on the front of a patient’s hip (anterior approach). The damaged femoral head (upper leg bone) and acetabulum (pelvic bone surrounding the femoral head) are removed and replaced. Replacement hip joint stems are generally made from titanium alloy or chrome cobalt with ceramic or cobalt-chromium alloy heads. The acetabular cup generally consists of a metal shell and polyethylene liner. This technique is generally recommended only after a thorough examination that rules out arthroscopy as an effective option. A hip replacement is an effective method of treatment that has been perfected over more than 70 years.
For more information
If you are suffering from hip arthritis, Dr. Burleson would be happy to make an effective, personalized treatment recommendation for you. Dr. Burleson will provide a thorough physical exam and a comprehensive review of your medical history to ensure you can achieve your goals. He also uses diagnostic imaging, such as MRI and X-ray, to help ensure that your treatment will be as effective as possible. Don’t let hip arthritis keep you from an active, pain-free lifestyle! Take the next step to address your hip arthritis with proven treatment options and schedule your appointment with Dr. Drew Burleson at Beacon Orthopaedics. You may also schedule by phone 24/7 at 513-354-3700.