Carl A. Hicks, M.D., Joint Reconstructive Surgeon
“Fortunately, there are treatments available that may relieve or eliminate hip pain,” says Carl A. Hicks, M.D., board-certified joint reconstructive surgeon with Methodist Orthopaedic Specialists of Texas (MOST).
Common Causes of Hip Pain
Hip pain can range from merely annoying to incapacitating and can arise from:
Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term, autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. More commonly, hip pain is caused by osteoarthritis, a “wear-and-tear” condition. With arthritis, the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones where they meet may wear thin.
Osteonecrosis – Occurs when the blood supply to the bone is impaired, causing the bone to die. Osteonecrosis may be associated with long-term alcohol and steroid use.
Hip fracture – “Anyone can experience a broken hip due to major impact, such as from a car accident, but older individuals are at higher risk,” Dr. Hicks says. “As we age, our bones become less dense. Individuals with osteoporosis – significant bone loss – may suffer a fracture from even a minor slip or fall.”
Other sources of hip pain may include sprains, strains, bursitis and impingement. Injury to the soft tissues surrounding the hip joint (sprains or strains) and bursitis (inflammation of the bursa, or fluid-filled sacs around the joint) may be caused by a fall, impact or repetitive motion. Impingement is caused by the bone of the femur bumping on the socket side of the hip.
“Depending on the injury, treatment may include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs to reduce inflammation and/or physical therapy,” Dr. Hicks says. “However, if these treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be an option.”
Surgical Treatment Options
Once a physician determines – through a general exam, health history, x-ray and/or other tests – that surgical repair is necessary, he or she may consider:
- Arthroscopy – To shave bone to relieve impingement.
- Hip resurfacing – For some patients, especially those under age 50, hip resurfacing surgery – which removes less bone than total hip joint replacement – may be an option.
- Total joint replacement – Total hip replacement involves surgical removal of the neck of the femur (thighbone). The implant, constructed of high-tech materials designed for smooth action and long wear, consists of the stem, which fits into the femur; the ball, which replaces the spherical head of the femur; and the cup, to replace the hip socket.
“Total hip replacement surgeries are very successful and generally offer improved quality of life for the patient,” Dr. Hicks says. “In addition, the orthopedic surgeons at MOST specialize in minimally invasive surgery when indicated, which can offer smaller incisions, quicker recovery and generally less pain.”
To Learn More
Don’t suffer needlessly from hip pain. To learn more about treatment options available at MOST or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hicks, call 866-567-4130.