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Hip Arthritis

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Inflammatory hip arthritis refers to the inflammation of the hip joint. The inflammation occurs when the lining of the joint becomes inflamed or when the cartilage (the smooth covering at the ends of the bones) wears away.

The most common types of inflammatory hip arthritis include:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – an immune system disease that typically affects multiple joints on both sides of the body at the same time.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis – a chronic inflammatory disease of the spine and the sacroiliac joints.
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) – an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells and tissues.

Most individuals with inflammatory hip arthritis experience aching pain in the groin region, outer thighs or buttocks. The pain is often most severe when getting up in the morning, and may subside during the course of the day. Vigorous activities may increase stiffness and pain and make walking difficult.

A hip specialist at Lancaster Orthopedic Group can diagnose inflammatory hip arthritis with a physical examination. X-rays and laboratory tests may be recommended in order to diagnose or rule out other conditions. The treatment options will vary depending on the diagnosis.

Non-surgical treatment includes physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and supportive devices such as canes or walkers to make daily living activities easier.

If non-surgical treatment fails to reduce the symptoms, surgery may be recommended to relieve pain and improve the joint motion. The type of surgery will depend on your age, the condition of the hip joint, and the type and progression of the inflammatory disease.

The most common surgical options for inflammatory hip arthritis include total hip replacement for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis; synovectomy (to remove some or all of the joint lining) if the inflammation has not affected the cartilage; and bone grafts for patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

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