Is There A Treatment For Hip Arthritis Without Surgery?

May 30, 2024
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Studies show that one in four adults will get hip arthritis during their lifetime. Most of these adults seek treatment for hip arthritis without surgery. Luckily, there are many cases that can be treated without an invasive surgical procedure.

What Is Hip Arthritis?

Hip arthritis happens when the cartilage between the hip joint bones wears away. Cartilage is a smooth, slippery material that helps joints move easily and without pain. Healthy cartilage has no nerve endings, so we don’t feel any pain when our joints move.

But in a hip with arthritis, the cartilage is worn down, exposing the bone underneath, which does have nerve endings. When the bones rub against each other, it causes a lot of pain. This rubbing also creates debris, leading to inflammation that makes the joint deteriorate even faster. Therefore, patients need hip cartilage repair without surgery.

How to Treat Hip Arthritis without Surgery?

When treating hip arthritis, you might have more options than you think. Following are some non-invasive treatment approaches:

  1. Medication
    The first option for arthritis symptoms is medication. This includes both over-the-counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin and prescription options such as naproxen sodium. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is only a pain reliever without anti-inflammatory effects.
    Don’t take OTC medications for more than fourteen days without consulting a doctor, as long-term use can increase the risk of side effects.
  2. Physical Therapy
    Physical therapy is crucial in orthopedics. A physical therapist will create a personalized plan to help you achieve maximum physical function, including balance, strength, flexibility, and coordination. They can teach you stretching techniques and show you how to reduce stiffness without further damaging the joint.
  3. Maintaining Healthy Weight
    Extra weight worsens hip and knee arthritis because it increases the load on the joint. Studies show that every pound of body weight adds four pounds of pressure on the knees while walking and nine pounds while climbing stairs.
    Experts recommend using a body mass index (BMI) calculator to determine if you are overweight or obese. This information can help set goals to maintain a healthy weight and reduce arthritis symptoms. A proper diet can also ease arthritis pain.
  4. Hip & Knee Braces/Assistive Devices
    A brace can provide external support for the joint, reducing load, improving stability, and relieving pain. Assistive devices like canes or walkers can also help with hip or knee arthritis by improving balance and providing support. A cane can support up to 25% of a person’s weight, while a walker can support up to 50%. These devices are also used in post-surgical rehab plans after hip and knee replacements.
    Before purchasing a brace, cane, or walker, it’s important to see an orthopedic specialist to determine if an assistive device is right for you.
  5. Injection Options
    Injections can be a great alternative to surgery, delaying it for months or even years or sometimes substituting for surgery altogether. The most common injection is a steroid (cortisone) injection, which decreases inflammation and can be used for both hip and knee arthritis.
    Another option is a hyaluronic acid injection, a lubricating gel mainly used for knee arthritis, which is a concentrated form of a protein naturally found in joint fluid. There are also newer options, like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).

Final Thoughts

It’s an unfortunate truth that once you develop hip arthritis, it won’t get better on its own. If your symptoms are mild, the earlier-mentioned treatment for hip arthritis without surgery can manage your symptoms for months or even years. You might never need to consider more invasive procedures.

Visit Dr. Gombera at Mufaddal Gombera, MD. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializes in sports medicine, arthroscopy, and shoulder, hip, and knee injuries, often avoiding the surgery. Dial (713) 794-3457 for an appointment.

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Dr. Gombera

Dr. Gombera, earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Expanding his expertise, he undertook a sports medicine and arthroscopy fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Recognized as a Super Doctors Rising Star and honored for patient care excellence at the University of Michigan, he holds multiple certifications and licenses, solidifying his dedication to delivering exceptional medical services.

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