What Causes Hip Pain?

Several conditions affect the bones, joints, tendons, cartilage, and muscles in your hips that can cause hip pain. For example, hip dysplasia, hip labral tears, and hip osteoarthritis affect the stability and smooth operation of the hip joint and may cause pain in your hips. However, other parts of your body, such as your lower back and legs, can also experience pain and uncomfortable symptoms because of the unnatural gait you may adopt because of hip pain.
An orthopedic hip specialist at NJ Spine & Orthopedic can determine what is causing your hip pain by an examination and diagnostic imaging scans. Most likely, nonsurgical treatments will be recommended, while surgery will be reserved depending on the severity of the condition and when conservative treatments are ineffective.

How Can Hip Dysplasia Cause Hip Pain?

Hip dysplasia is a congenital disability that begins in the womb and leads to abnormal hip development. This condition causes the ball of the femur not to fit securely into the socket of your hip bone. Either the hip socket is too shallow for the femur ball to fit securely, or the end of the femur did not develop as it should. If this condition is not detected early in life, it may cause symptoms such as:

  • Limping
  • Discomfort or pain in the side or back of the hip
  • Increased pain during activity
  • Clicking, popping, or both in the hip joining when moving
  • Increased feeling of instability or dislocation of the hip
  • Pain and inflammation in the groin area

However, these symptoms can be produced by other hip conditions like hip labral tears and hip osteoarthritis, so a careful diagnosis is essential to receive the right treatment plan.  

What Are Hip Labral Tears?

The hip labrum is cartilage that surrounds the outer edge of the hip socket. Its purpose is to maintain joint alignment and keep lubricating fluid from escaping the joint capsule. Conditions that can cause a hip labral tear are:

  • Sports or traumatic injuries
  • Excess bone growth on the femur or hip bone socket
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hip osteoarthritis

A condition called capsular laxity can also cause hip labral tears. When the hip is over-rotated while participating in activities such as dancing, gymnastics, or baseball, this can cause ligaments to loosen, resulting in hip instability and pain.

How Does Hip Osteoarthritis Cause Pain?

There are ways to limit the chances of hip osteoarthritis and the need for treatment. Smoking, lack of exercise, and obesity are all controllable risk factors that may bring on hip osteoarthritis at an earlier age, reducing your quality of life sooner rather than later.

Certain medications can also bring on hip osteoarthritis and cause other bone health problems as well. Examples of drugs that can hasten the development of hip osteoarthritis include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Stomach medicines that contain aluminum
  • Some antidepressants
  • Mood stabilizers containing lithium
  • Certain blood thinners and anticoagulants

Certain diabetes medications can also contribute to reduced bone health. 

Treatments for Hip Pain

Your orthopedic doctors can recommend nonsurgical treatments, such as low-impact exercise and pain management treatments. Losing weight, especially in the abdominal area, can relieve the stress that rests on the hips and reduce pain and degeneration. Low-impact exercise will also reduce stress on the joints. In addition, over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications, or corticosteroid injections can help with moderate to severe pain.

Surgical options are available for more severe cases of hip pain. Surgeries include minimally-invasive hip preservation surgery, a total hip replacement, or labral surgeries. Hip preservation surgery is primarily used in cases of hip dysplasia to remove and shape parts of bones so the bones of the femur and hip socket fit together more securely. Labral debridements, labral repairs, and labral replacement are surgical options for hip labral tears.

Consult With the Orthopedic Hip Specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic About Your Hip Pain

The NJ Spine & Orthopedic orthopedic hip doctors can perform exams and utilize imaging technologies like X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans to determine if you have hip dysplasia, hip labral tears, hip osteoarthritis, or another condition that may cause hip pain. Then, we can recommend treatment options that will allow you to enjoy the activities you once did.

Call our specialists and Concierge Team at NJ Spine & Orthopedic at (866) 553-0612 or complete our contact form if you’re experiencing hip pain and need relief.

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