Hip pain is a debilitating issue to deal with. There are many potential causes and hip pain can stem from a variety of reasons. Luckily at AOA Orthopedic Specialists we have multiple hip specialists who help patients identify the exact source of the pain, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening again. Three common causes of hip pain are osteoarthritis, Muscle strains and bursitis, or a tear of the labrum
Hip Pain and Osteoarthritis
Wear and tear on the hip joint will eventually lead to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis typically happens in older patients or obese patients, but can also occur in a younger patient with an undiagnosed ailment such as a form of hip dysplasia or labral tear. The cartilage within the hip joint will wear down which leaves behind a bone on bone situation. Without cartilage, the joint is bone on bone, and the patient has a painful and stiff joint.
Treatment for osteoarthritis of the hip typically starts with conservative treatments such as physical therapy and injections. The ultimate step will be a total joint arthroplasty, more commonly known as total joint replacement.
Hip Pain and Muscle Strains/ Bursitis
A strain to any of the muscles surrounding the hip joint as well as an inflammation of the bursa will also cause hip pain. Bursa are small fluid filled sacs that act as cushions within the joints and surrounding structures. A strain most commonly occurs in one of the surrounding supporting muscles of the hip joint, primarily the psoas or iliacus which come together to form the iliopsoas. When patients complain about “hip flexor” pain, they are most likely referring to the iliopsoas. To treat a strain or bursitis, most providers will administrate an injection and prescribe physical therapy. If these two conservative options do not help, they can perform a bursectomy and remove the inflamed bursa.
Hip pain and Labral Tears
Wear and tear or an instant of trauma can cause a tear to the labrum. The labrum is a piece of fibrocartilage that acts as a suction to lock the femoral head into the acetabulum or hip socket. When this piece of fibrocartilage has a tear, it can get caught in the joint and be very painful. Pain will occur with the flexion and extension that occurs with every day walking or even sitting. When the labrum is torn it breaks the seal that locks the femoral head into the hip socket. This causes instability which if undiagnosed can cause osteoarthritis in the future. Hip instability can lead to knee and back issues if left undiagnosed. Types of trauma that can cause a labral tear in the hip is falling onto the knees, falling directly onto the hip, or traumas such as car accidents. A main cause of labral tears within the hip are sports injuries from overuse. Sports such as dance, golf, and soccer are most culprits. To fix a torn labrum, the provider will evaluate the tear and the location of the tear and type of tear will determine the surgical procedure. One option is to simply debride off the torn section of the labrum. Another option is to put anchors to anchor the labrum back to the acetabulum if it is torn from the socket. If the labrum is too torn to repair properly, your surgeon may use an allograft or autograph to remake the labrum. An autographed comes from your own body and tissue an allograft come from a cadaver.