(gentle music) – There are a lot of causes of arthritis in the hip. Some of those can be congenital in nature. Perhaps the hip just didn’t form correctly, and there’s a mismatch between the ball and the socket of the hip, as we refer to them. If there is a mismatch between those two, whether it be developmental or whether it be something that occurs over time with wear of the hip joint, then that causes discomfort and uneven wear in the hip, which leads to arthritis. And that’s something that we’re seeing more and more with younger people. We also see hip arthritis which is a result of hip dysplasia, where the hip doesn’t totally form as an infant. It can also occur as a post-traumatic injury from a dislocation or other trauma to the hip. It can occur from rheumatoid arthritis as well. There are many causes of arthritis. In the elderly population, we often see arthritis that occurs just from wearing out the hip joint over a lifetime. When arthritis sets in, it’s an irreversible disease with loss of the nice, smooth articular cartilage in the hip.
When that occurs, patients experience inflammation and pain, difficulty ambulating, pain that is located in the groin, and sometimes refers back to the buttocks as well, and even can be referred out laterally to the outside of the hip. So hip pain can occur from, also, an impingement that can occur in the hip, and you get a bony osteophyte, or a bone spur, that forms on the front of the femur, or on the acetabulum, or both. And, in that case, it causes uneven wear in the hip as well. Now, there are different treatment options for the different causes of hip arthritis. And one thing we’re really focusing on now, too, is performing hip arthroscopy. So hip arthroscopy is rather new and is gaining a lot of popularity.
We’re able to, through a scope, a minimally invasive procedure, insert a scope into the hip joint and look at the mismatch between the femoral neck and the acetabulum. Doing that, we can correct labral tears in the hip or cartilage tears in the hip. And using a small arthroscopic shaver, we can correct the mismatch between the femoral neck and the acetabulum, and hopefully prevent that patient from needing an arthroplasty down the road, and preserve their joint. If we have to shave some of the bone off, recovery usually is about six weeks, and we progressively increase the patient’s weight-bearing over that period of time until they are full weight-bearing. If we have to repair the labrum, oftentimes we’ll keep the patient in a brace and have them on crutches as well. And so recovery depends a little bit on what we have to do during the procedure. So the expectation is that the patient, after six weeks, will then go on to physical therapy, and increase their strength and range of motion of the hip, and get back to full activity within 12 weeks.
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