Hip Osteoarthritis Treatment Options

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Therapy and exercise

Some studies have shown that appropriately-designed therapy and exercise can help ease the symptoms such as joint pain. Exercise also can help strengthen the muscles around the joint, providing more support in absorbing stress.

Generally, staying on your ideal weight and staying fit are helpful to cope with hip osteoarthritis.


The medicines prescribed by doctor are usually dependent on the symptoms that occur. These include:

  1. Nutritional supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin as noted before. Again, the literature for the effectiveness of these ingredients is not consistently. But they seem work for some sufferers with hip osteoarthritis – not all.
  2. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), they can help ease pain and reduce inflammation. However, the use of these medicines for long term is discouraged (especially if it is prescribed at high dose).
  3. Acetaminophen (non-narcotic pain tablets). It can help ease the pain, but doesn’t help ease inflammation.

Surgical options

If non-surgical treatment options don’t help enough, you and your doctor may want to consider surgery. There are several techniques of surgeries for hip osteoarthritis – again, this usually depends on the severity of the problem and other factors.

The hip replacement surgery can be done with epidural option (where only the lower body is numbed) or general anaesthetic (a condition of when you are asleep during surgery). Your surgeon then will take the damaged hip and replace it by an artificial joint. It can take about 1 to 1.5 hours.

After surgery, you usually need to use a walking aid to give you additional support. You may need to use it for about 4-6 weeks after surgery. You may also be suggested to take an exercise program to learn the skills of balance and regain the use of the new hip joint.

The recovery can vary. But most people can back to their normal activities within a couple of months after surgery. However, sometime it may take a year.

How about the successful rate?

Hip replacement surgery is often reported successful. Even it is still one of the most effective surgeries in this modern living since introduced in 1960s.

In line with the development of modern medical technologies, hip replacement surgery is continuously developed to provide better support in replacing the damaged hip.

New, better artificial materials for prosthetics are being improved. This is intended to make prosthetics provide better mobility and longer to wear. New technology for computer-assisted in surgery is also available to give a greater precision!

However, it’s also important to completely understand the risks or side effects of surgery before taking the surgery. Though it often works successfully, there is also a chance for it to cause some of the following problems:

  1. Infection
  2. Hip dislocation
  3. Not-equal in leg length
  4. Fracture
  5. And injuries to nerves /blood vessels around the site of surgery.

If you think you can get benefits with hip replacement surgery, consult more with your doctor! Either orthopedic or rheumatologist surgeon are usually ‘the master /specialist’ in arthritis care.

Citations /references:

  1. http://www.orthop.washington.edu/?q=patient-care/articles/hip/osteoarthritis-of-the-hip-hip-arthritis.html
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/basics/treatment/con-20014749
  3. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hip-replacement/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Last accessed on September 2014


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